Shipments of Sony Computer Entertainment’s PlayStation 3 console hit 1 million units in Japan on Tuesday, the company said. That’s just over two weeks behind Sony’s original launch plan, which envisaged hitting the million mark before the end of 2006.
Problems with production of the new console led to the shortfall, but those problems have now been solved, said Satoshi Fukuoka, a spokesman for SCEI in Tokyo.
He didn’t divulge the problems but Sony had earlier scaled back the launch of the PS3 because it couldn’t produce enough blue lasers for the console’s Blu-ray Disc drive. The company remains behind its second target of hitting 6 million shipments worldwide by the end of March, he said.
The PlayStation 3 was launched in Japan on Nov. 11 and became available in North America, Hong Kong and Taiwan on Nov. 17. It’s scheduled to launch in Europe before the end of March.
Last week Sony said shipments of the console in North America had exceeded 1 million. The company had also planned to ship 1 million units in North America before the end of 2006 but didn’t say when that point was reached.
Data from Media Create in Japan puts PlayStation 3 sales at 527,462 units by Jan. 7. The data measures units sold through retail outlets and is not comparable to Sony’s shipment figures. Nonetheless the data provides an clue as to how shipments of the console are going for Sony.
After managing to get over 80,000 units into retailers for the launch weekend, weekly sales slipped to a low of 31,436 in the last week of November. They have since risen to around twice that level, according to the data, indicating that Sony is shipping more consoles per week now than it was immediately after launch.
Despite the slow start the PlayStation 3 has been able to beat the two previous PlayStation consoles to the 2 million units shipped mark. That point was passed about two months after launch (Sony didn’t say on which day) versus about two and a half months for the PlayStation 2 and more than six months for the PlayStation.