Sony Says PS3 Shortages Will End by May

In comments to Reuters, Jack Tretton, chief executive of Sony Computer Entertainment of America, maintains that his company is on track to ship two million PlayStation 3 systems to North America by the end of March, 2007. Tretton further asserts that shortages of the company’s latest gaming console should be completely over by May.

According to Tretton, Sony’s high-end gaming console is still out of stock in some markets, despite having been released in the U.S. back in November 2006. Although the consoles saw strong interest when they were introduced and supply limitations made them almost impossible to obtain, anecdotal evidence suggests PlayStation 3 systems are widely and easily available at retailers today. Tretton maintains full shelves are the goal: “Our goal is to fill shelves across the United States. Our goal is not to have empty shelves, it’s to have full shelves. If we have empty shelves, that’s one less consumer who could have bought a PlayStation 3.”

Sony’s PlayStation 3 is the most expensive mainstream gaming console to hit the market—systems retail for $500 and $600, with the more expensive system offering more hard drive capacity and built-in Wi-Fi. The PlayStation 3 is also central to Sony’s hopes for its Blu-ray next-generation disc format: every PS3 comes with a Blu-ray drive, and Sony is already claiming victory over rival format HD DVD based in part on sales of PS3 systems. However, recent figures have Sony’s PlayStation 3 lagging in sales, bringing up the rear behind the NIntendo Wii, Microsoft’s Xbox 360, and the company’s own earlier PlayStation 2 system.