Report: Sony out of stock on US 60GB PS3

Dave Karraker reveals that inventory stores have dried up for $499 console; retailers have received their last shipments.

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On the eve of this year's E3 Media and Business Summit, Sony announced that it would be dropping the price on its flagship 60GB PlayStation 3 to $499, a $100 break over the console's original $599 price point. Initially heralded as a positive and necessary step in spurring lackluster sales of the console, the price cut received one significant caveat several days later. Speaking to a Norwegian gaming news site, Sony Computer Entertainment America president Kaz Harai noted that a $499 PS3 would only be temporary, as once the current supply of 60GB PS3s had run its course, Sony would be offering only its $599 80GB PS3.

The price drop was quickly interpreted as a fire sale of sorts, as Sony cleared out its inventory of 60GB PlayStation 3s to make room for its new line of larger hard drive consoles. The strategy has also proved to be successful for Sony in North America. In July, the first month after announcing the price drop, the PS3 for the first time outsold archrival Microsoft's Xbox 360 console by 2,000 units in Canada and nearly doubled its preceding month's performance in the US, spiking to 159,000 units sold from 98,000 the month before.

With the strong uptick in sales, not to mention the further $150 discount opportunity revealed earlier this month, it was only a matter of time before the well dried up. It now appears that time has come. A visit to the online Sony Style store reveals that the 60GB is on back order. When questioned by industry publication GamePro on whether this status indicates that Sony has run through its stockpile of 60GB consoles, SCEA senior director of corporate communications Dave Karraker stated, "We no longer have any inventory in SCEA warehouses. All inventory has been purchased and shipped to retailers."

Speaking to GameSpot, Karraker addressed the back-order status of the 60GB console on Sony's online store. Karraker stated, "The 60GB is not out of stock in the US. SonyStyle.com currently has a back order notice up on their site, but they are shifting some inventory and will have it available again soon." When asked for further clarification, Karraker said, "All we can say at this point is we have ample inventory for anyone looking to buy a PS3 in North America."

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