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PSP sells 600,000 in first week

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Sony Computer Entertainment America put a figure on first-week sales of its new PSP portable gaming system today. By doing so it confirmed what many analysts were already reading into first-week sales--that the PSP was a solid hit but no home run.

According to SCEA figures, PSP sales generated $150 million in sales in the week following its 12:01am North American launch on March 24. Divided by the unit's $249 price, the total means Sony sold just over 602,000 PSPs out of an initial batch of 1 million.

Sony would say only that the device sold "over half a million" units during its first 48 hours on the market, meaning that it sold only approximately 100,000 units continentwide over the next five days--at best. Still, Sony said the tally was enough to "further validate PSP as the most anticipated product of 2005 and an industry-altering force."

By comparison, in Japan the device needed three weeks to reach the 500,000-units-sold threshold, according to USA Today.

In a prescient memo distributed before the Sony numbers were announced, Friedman Billings Ramsey analyst Shawn Milne said, "We believe that the PSP launch was solid but likely did not live up to the high expectations of a complete sellout in 24 hours."

However, the PSP's long-term future remains very bright indeed. In its online edition, Forbes reported that Banc of America expects March 2005 game sales to spike by some 16 percent--much of that courtesy of the PSP. "As sales of the PSP gain momentum and mass-market adoption rates increase, we expect software sales to broaden," says Banc of America, according to Forbes. Long term, the firm's analysts reportedly believe demand will "outpace supply."


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