Sony Predicts Hot Playstation 3 Launch

At a Tokyo news conference covering Sony’s fiscal year numebrs, the company said it plans to get its forthcoming Playstation 3 console to the market place in much greater quantities than Microsoft did when it launched its Xbox 360 console in late 2005. Sony currently plans to release the Playstation 3 in November 2006, and says it expects worldwide sales between 4.5 and 5.5 million units during the console’s first seven months on the market.

Sony also stressed it planned to bring the Playstation 3 to profitability as quickly as possible, by reducing manufacturing costs through lowering the number of parts used in the system as well as using parts with lower component costs. For instance, as the next-generation market matures, unit costs for the PS3’s included Blu-ray drive should drop significantly.

Overall, Sony’s game business grew by 31 percent during its fiscal year (with PSP software shipments increasing 600 percent year to year) but profits dropped by some 80 percent as Sony ramps up the PS3. Sony said it shipped 16.2 million Playstation 2 consoles in the last year