Electronic Arts CEO Larry Probst has claimed that initial shipments of the PlayStation 3 have been below his expectations. He also stated that overall sales so far for the Christmas gift buying season were at or slightly ahead of Electronic Arts targets.
His comments were made at the Reuters Media Summit in New York, where he said that demand for the PlayStation 3 in the U.S. was strong, but claimed that shortages meant only around 200,000 consoles have so far made it to retail. Sony’s original plans called for 400,000 units at launch – the company has so far failed to confirm or update these figures.
Quoted by Reuters, Probst said the estimated launch figures were “a bit of a surprise”. He further suggested that Sony would ship between 500,000 and 800,000 units overall in the U.S. by the end of the year. He also commented that a clear format winner in the new generation of console might not be known for five years.
Current sales of the Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 2, PSP and Nintendo DS were characterized as “solid”. Electronic Arts recently raised its 2006 estimates
to between zero and five percent growth. "That's a much more optimistic outlook for the year than people were previously expecting," said Probst.
Probst’s comments, together with Electronics Arts CFO Warren Jenson’s description of sales of Superman Returns
as a “disappointment”, saw shares in the company down by nearly two percent at the end of the summit, closing down by 0.8 percent on the Nasdaq.