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Sony: 1mln to 1.2mln PS3s for North America in '06

Earlier today Sony dropped the bomb that they'd be delaying the PS3 launch in Europe (you guys didn't really think you'd get it at the same time as North America, did you?) and halving worldwide shipments for 2006 from 4 million to 2 million. So just how many of those 2 million are coming to North America? A Sony spokesperson told MTV News that instead of focusing on those day-one numbers, we should be looking at the 1 million to 1.2 million units available by the end of this year.

Now, we know the armchair analysts (and even some real ones) are getting all doom and gloom about the PS3's holiday prospects in light of today's announcements, but let's throw some context at the mess and see if we can't make this lump of coal shine. The Sony spokesperson was quick to point out the similarities between the PS3's impending launch and the now dominant PS2's launch back in 2000, which also shipped with a fraction of what was expected.

Keep reading for a fancy chart!


Initial sales 514,000 in 2 weeks 500,000 first shipment
326K first 9 days
400K first shipment
1st holiday sales 1.5mln by '00
1.46mln by '01
900K by '06 1mln-1.2mln by '07
Current sales 4mln in NA and
10mln world
by 03/01
43mln in NA and
106mln world
as of 07/06
2.2mln in US now and
10mln+ world
by '07 (est.)

Indeed, if one were to look at several recent North American console launches, you'd see a particular pattern. In 2000 when the Dreamcast sold 514,000 consoles in two weeks, it was record-breaking and worthy of press releases proclaiming the feat. Just one year later when the PS2 launched, those same numbers were indicative of a shortage.

What we're saying is that, basically, these numbers don't mean anything. Despite what appears to be gross incompetence to much of the gaming press and the hardcore industry watchers (that's you guys), the mainstream gamer is blissfully unaware of reductions in shipping estimates. To him, it will appear that the PS3 is the hottest thing this holiday -- just like the Xbox 360 appeared to be last year and the PlayStation 2 back in '00 -- and may have no problem waiting for the demand and/or price to go down. People are still buying PS2s today, remember? Just a reality check before the hype consumes us all.

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