GameStop exec says PS3 in stock

Game retailer's COO says Sony's new console is now in abundant supply--while the Wii remains hard to come by.

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For first-party game companies, 2006's holiday season was a critical point in the next-generation console war. Industry trackers have kept a keen eye on the sales performance of the Wii, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360, but official numbers aren't expected out of NPD until later this month.

However, at CES yesterday, Sony confirmed that it had shipped out more than 1 million PS3s to North America, and expects 6 million to be available worldwide by March. Now it appears that Sony has overcome its supply issues.

Daniel A. DeMatteo, vice chairman and COO of GameStop, late last week said PS3s are available at "hundreds of the company's 3,700 outlets," according to the New York Times. The Wii, on the other hand, is still hard to come by.

"We got some [Wiis] in yesterday in really limited supply, and they virtually disappeared," DeMatteo said, according to the NYT.

The $250 Wii and $499/$599 PlayStation 3 were very difficult to purchase after their November launches, as gamers lined up outside stores at times days in advance to buy the systems. DeMatteo says this is the first time that PS3 stock has remained unsold in his stores.

Over the weekend, GameSpot editors visited a local EB Games, which is owned by GameStop, and found PS3s available for purchase. As for the Wii, one clerk told GameSpot, "We got some in earlier this week and they were gone in five minutes."

The availability of PS3s can be spun good or bad, depending on which side of the next-gen war one is on. Pro-Sony gamers will note that more PS3s in stores simply means more PS3s that will be sold. On the other hand, doomsayers will simply see ample stock as evidence that consumers aren't buying the system.

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