Sony is angrily denying intimations that it intentionally created a Playstation 2 shortage for the console's launch. Sweeping aside increasingly common Tickle Me Elmo and Cabbage Patch Kid comparisons, SCEA's Andrew House remarked to Time magazine, "It's absolutely ridiculous to suggest that by limiting our audience we would successfully be pursuing our business goals." Sony announces its July-September earnings in Japan on October 26, the day PS2 launches in the U.S. Analysts are anticipating flat profits for the quarter, due in part to the cost of the PS2 launch, a strong yen, and weak results from Aiwa Co. Ltd., a Sony affiliate.
On the European front, Reuters is reporting that London stores are closing their books on getting the new console anytime near the November 24 European launch date. Demand in Europe is expected to so far exceed supply that retailers across Europe have agreed with Sony to avoid midnight launch events, fearing scuffles or other violence could break out among dissatisfied would-be PS2 owners. Buyers in Europe will instead receive a letter instructing them when and where to pick up their PS2 between November 24 and December 24.