View Full Version : Launch Estimates: 500k

April 2nd, 2005, 02:48
Most game system launches are followed up by wild boasts from the publishing company on the sell-through rate and sell-out status of the hardware (even the humble but hungry Gizmondo made headlines for its first 800 sales.) Game industry followers watching the PSP's launch, however, are still waiting a week later for official numbers (or even boastingly exaggerated sell-through-as-sale numbers) on how the system did its first week in America. PlayStation Portable's launch in America comes in a quiet time for retailers, and although many expected Sony's handheld to carry enough momentum from the PlayStation brand name to push units out at sell-out rates, estimates of launch sales indicate sales that are good for the season but still short of past PlayStation successes.

As reported by CNN, a survey by the American Technology Research of 150 retailers nation-wide estimates that between 475,000 and 575,000 PSP units sold through in the first seven days of the system's release. Distribution is approximated to be close to SCE's 1 million units shipped in North America, with 250,000 to 300,000 of inventory left on shelves through in the launch period (the remaining stock out of the one million, we assume, either unaccounted for in the distribution channels or held for restocking.) Out of the retailers polled, 1/3 had sold through its stock, with remaining stores having as little as three units left and as many as 100 still waiting to be sold.
Analyst P. J. McNealy states in the report that mainstream stores like Wal-Mart and Target received more inventory than expected, and many locations have left-over systems from the large stock. Specialty stores like GameStop and EB are reported to be through their stocks entirely (many of these stores had already sold through their incoming stock before launch day due to extensive pre-order campaigns.) Toy stores and electronic shops, however, are also reporting inventory in various locations.

McNealy describes the launch as "solid but not spectacular." He also writes off a lot of the concern for the launch as a result of the slower, out-of-season launch period. The Nintendo DS was able to sell through a similar 500,000 units in its first week at retail, although exact comparisons may not fit -- the DS was launched during the 2004 holiday frenzy, but it was also released in carefully portioned numbers and was difficult to find on shelves for much of the period and beyond.

Numbers for PSP game sales were not mentioned in the report. Tie-ratio of games sold per system will be an important figure for Sony and Third Parties to look at, as the health of the game sales will be critical to the system's continuing life no matter what the hardware numbers are. It is unknown how the multimedia functions of the PlayStation Portable will factor into buyer's purchasing activity -- the multimedia features of the PSP are considered by some to be a distraction away from the games waiting on shelves, although success with DVD playback on PS2 have shown that getting the hardware in peoples' hands is a success that can be capitalized on later with games catering to the mainstream entertainment enthusiast.

Official numbers are still being tallied, so if you are running a gamble riding on how the launch sales end up, there's still time to raise your bet.

April 2nd, 2005, 08:28
I am not surprised.

The PSP is GREAT, but it is expensive and out of the price reach of children (unlike the DS).