November 16th, 2004, 10:06
Both Nintendo and Sony are anticipating short supply of hardware when their new handheld consoles launch, it has emerged, with the PSP likely to suffer most as only 200,000 units will be available on day one.[br][br]Nintendo has seen demand for the DS rise to around double the expected level, with pre-orders for the console currently standing at two million units, leading to a third factory being brought online to manufacture the console.[br][br]However, the new production facilities won't help the situation at launch, and only a million units will be available to the channel to begin with - although a further million will be made available by early in the New Year.[br][br]Nintendo's projections for sales by the end of March, when its financial year ends, stands at four million units, up from previous predictions of 3.5 million unit sales.[br][br]Sony faces even worse shortages, however, with only 200,000 units of the PlayStation Portable due to ship in Japan on the December 12th launch date, while additional shipments through December will bring the total number of units available to half a million.[br][br]It's likely that this low number reflects difficulties in manufacturing the technologically advanced PSP console, but some commentators have suggested that Sony may be deliberately reducing the number of units it manufactures early on, to avoid taking huge losses on hardware.[br][br]The company's manufacturing costs for the console are likely to fall rapidly in the early months of production, and the firm may be hoping to build hype for the system with a limited launch and then to release a proper supply of units to the market once per-unit losses have fallen to a more acceptable level.