1m PS3s hit Japan, Sony forecast questioned

Sony Computer Entertainment said in a statement that its global PS3 shipments had reached two million – a million each for the US and Japan.

But the news arrives a month later than the firm’s original target to hit the figure by the end of December – and after three respected sales analysts questioned the potential of the machine. 

Yesterday, Nomura Securities cut its PS3 shipment forecast through March by 25 percent, from six million to 4.5 million units, citing worse-than-expected sales.

KBC Securities agreed. KBC analyst Hiroshi Kamide said that his brokerage estimates predict that Sony will sell only a little over three million PS3 units by March because of the console’s high price and a lack of software.

“The biggest factor is the high price,” he told Reuters. "It is hard to understand for users why they should pay that much for the product.”

Elsewhere, Nomura has lowered its PS3 shipment forecast to 10 million units from 16 million for 2007/08 and to 11 million units from 18 million for 2008/09.

“For home-use video game consoles, the central role of which in our view was usurped by handheld game machine Nintendo DS, we think the absence of a dominant product will lead to a protracted struggle,” Nomura analyst Yuta Sakurai said in a report to clients.

“For the time being, we think Wii will remain on the ascendancy, supported by a line-up of attractive software titles and a broad user base.”

PS3 is expected to launch in Europe in March, with Sony due to confirm details of its launch plan at the end of January.

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