British retailer GAME has admitted that it may not be able to meet demand for the new slimline PlayStation 2 console over Christmas. The company’s website indicates it is currently out of stock of the console, and in-store customers are being warned of the low stock levels.
The notice on the company’s website reads:
“Sony is currently suffering manufacturing and shipping delays of PlayStation 2 consoles, which has led to a UK-wide stock shortage."
"We have now been officially advised by Sony that the UK market will not receive any deliveries for the rest of November. Any pre-Christmas deliveries will be limited and will commence no earlier than the first week of December. Therefore we cannot guarantee that we will be able to supply you a console before Christmas though we will do our very best."
"As the UK's leading retailer of PlayStation 2 consoles, you can be assured that we will receive the largest allocations throughout December.”
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has so far refused to comment on the situation, but PlayStation 2 hardware sales fell noticeably last week despite enormous demand.
Other circumstantial evidence suggests similar problems may befall North America, with major retailer GameStop limiting consoles to one per customer, with some bundles listed as on back order – rather than “in stock”. However, it should be noted that Europe has historically been a low priority with regard to hardware provisioning.
If Sony cannot meet demand over the Christmas period, than it may lose some of the sales momentum gained by releasing the newly designed console in the first place, especially as the Xbox and GameCube do not currently seem to be suffering from similar stock issues.