88,400 PS3s Sold in Japan in 2 Days

Supplies of the PlayStation 3 are all but gone after retailers blew through their inventory in under a week, Japanese gaming magazine Enterbrain reported. 88,400 units were sold over the weekend, nearly all of the 100,000 units initially available.

It could be awhile before new consoles make it into the region as Sony prepares for a wider North American launch. There, the company hopes to have as many as 400,000 units available, which will likely sell almost as fast when the PS3 debuts November 17.

Two models of the PS3 are available in Japan. The basic model retails for 49,980 yen ($425 USD), while a more advanced model sells for around 60,000 yen ($510 USD). Both are cheaper than the retail price of the console here in the states, expected to be $499 and $599 USD respectively.

About 62 percent of the consoles sold were the advanced model. No breakdown has been provided of the allotments of each type of console. In any case, the magazine said the launch weekend's results showed promise for Sony.

Best-selling games over the weekend included Ridge Racer 7 and Mobile Suit Gundam: Target in Sight, which sold about 30,000 consoles each.

Even though Sony is the top-selling game console marker worldwide, that has not stopped pundits from being skeptical. Many have pointed to the PS3's high-price, noting that past consoles in its price range have not been successful.

"At between $500 or $600, the Playstation 3 skews toward the danger zone, and has a price point comparable to the fairly disastrous Sega Saturn of 1995," noted Internet pundit Om Malik observed on Friday. He noted that the PS3 is also $150 to $200 more expensive than the launch price of the PS2 in today's dollars.

"Then again, maybe Playstation has such powerful brand loyalty, millions of gamers will miraculously rise up next week to acclaim the PS3, despite the high cost," he added.

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