Sony’s slimmer and cheaper PlayStation Portable (PSP) has struck a chord with Japanese shoppers and racked up sales of 1 million units in its first two months on sale.
The second-generation PSP went on sale in Japan Sept. 20 and hit the million mark Nov. 22, two weeks faster than the original PSP took to sell a million units, Sony said.
Compared to the original PSP, which went on sale in December 2004, the new model is 33 percent lighter and 19 percent thinner. It is also slightly cheaper and has a larger LCD (liquid crystal display) screen. An optional digital TV tuner allows users to tune into Japan’s free-to-air mobile digital TV broadcasts. The digital TV tuner is not available outside Japan.
In the run-up to the year-end shopping season Sony plans to put on sale two new bundles, the “Deep Red Value Pack” and “Deep Red 1 Seg Pack.” The latter includes the digital TV tuner and both will be available in limited numbers. In North America, Sony sells the new PSP bundled with Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron or with Daxter, along with the “Freakin’ Sweet Collection” of Family Guy animated TV episodes on UMD, the disc format used by the PSP.
Sony has been successful in the past in boosting sales of its PlayStation hardware with the introduction of limited availability models in different colors.
According to previously published sales estimates Sony managed to sell around 250,000 of the new PSP during its first four days on sale. In recent weeks sales have fallen back but are still doing well.
In the week from Nov.12 to Nov. 18 the PSP was the second most popular piece of games hardware sold in Japan, according to Media Create. The agency, which estimates national sales based on point-of-sales system data, said 65,609 PSPs were sold during the week. The leading Nintendo DS saw sales of 76,069 units.