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Record PS3 sales over Christmas

Sony sold a record amount of PlayStation 3 consoles in Europe during the Christmas period, but may still miss its 11 million sales target for the fiscal year.

PlayStation president Kaz Hirai told Bloomberg that the firm shipped 1.2 million PS3s in Europe during the five weeks ended December 31, equaling the number of systems shipped in the US during the same period.

The sales increase was likely driven by October 2007's 17 percent PS3 price cut and an aggressive holiday season marketing campaign centered around the system's multiple technological capabilities, as well as AAA first party titles such as Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction.

"We want to promote games only available for PlayStation 3," said Hirai. "The introduction of the 40-gigabyte model is in line with that strategy." In November 2007 Sony slashed the price of the PS3 development kit by almost 50 percent in a bid to boost the number of developers making titles exclusively for the system.

However, despite a significant increase in worldwide sales in recent months, analyst consensus suggests Sony will sell around eight million PS3s during the fiscal year ended March 31, three million short of its target.

"We haven't made any conclusion whether we have to give it up," Hirai said of the firm's sales target. "It depends on how aggressively dealers buy our PS3 inventory."

Sony's PlayStation unit, which has posted seven straight quarters of losses, accounted for 12 percent of total company revenue during the three months ended September 30, 2007. Hirai said earlier this month that he expects declining component costs to help Sony's gaming arm turn a profit next fiscal year.

Courtesy of Next Generation.

Jan 22, 2008