Sony targets a million PSPs for US launch

Unspoken addition to today's announcement is that PS2 shortages should be no more as of April.

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In a press release that spouted more numbers than a drunken Keno runner, Sony Computer Entertainment America tried to get a retail channel burned by holiday shortages of the new slimline PlayStation 2 back in its camp.

Calling the PSP figure "an upward revision in preparation for its North American launch on March 24," SCEA is now promising that 1 million units of the new handheld will be available at launch. The console maker confirmed an "overall three-million-unit worldwide shipment estimate by the close of its fiscal year ending March 31."

Jack Tretton, executive vice president of Sony Computer Entertainment America, said in a statement, "We know that PSP has the potential to become the consumer 'must-have' product of 2005… Having one million units available on day one demonstrates our commitment to getting a PSP in the hands of as many consumers as possible right out of the gate."

Tretton confirmed that the unit will still be available as part of the single-SKU bundle PSP Value Pack, which includes a 32MB Memory Stick Duo, headphones, a battery pack, an AC adaptor, a case, a wrist strap, a cleaning cloth, a UMD sampler disc, and for the first 1 million units shipped, a UMD copy of Spider-Man 2, all for an SRP of $249.99.

Sources close to Sony also said that, in addition to today's PSP announcement, the company was letting the retail community know that the PlayStation 2 shortages would soon be a thing of the past. SCEA reps reportedly said that the company's efforts to restock the console-starved channel with new PS2s will be complete by April 1.

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