PlayStation 3 Already Nearly Sold Out in Japan

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Sony Corp. (SNE) sold 88,400 units of its PlayStation 3 game console in the first two days after the launch in Japan, leaving most stores without any stock, video game magazine publisher Enterbrain said on Monday.

Sony started selling the latest version of its blockbuster game console in Japan on Saturday, and all indications point to a strong start.

Sony plans to have the PS3 on shelves in North America on November 17, followed by a European launch in March.

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According to Enterbrain, Sony sold 88,400 units combined on Saturday and Sunday, depleting stocks at most electronics retailers that were able to get their hands on a limited supply of the console.

Sony was able to ship only 100,000 units for the launch after a glitch in blue-laser-diode production disrupted its output plans.

An official at Enterbrain said the sales figure could be interpreted as a promising start for the PS3, with thousands of game fans queuing for hours at electronics stores in Tokyo over the weekend to be among the first to play PS3 games.

The PS3 is up against Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Xbox 360, which has been on sale for the past year, and Nintendo Co. Ltd.'s upcoming Wii game console, which is scheduled to go on sale on November 19 in the United States and December 2 in Japan.

Enterbrain said that "Ridge Racer 7" and "Mobile Suit Gundam: Target in Sight," both from Namco Bandai Holdings, were the two top-selling games at about 30,000 units each.

The basic model of the PS3, equipped with a 20-gigabyte hard disk drive, sells for 49,980 yen ($425), while a more advanced 60-gigabyte version is retailing for about 60,000 yen.

Of the total sold so far in Japan, Enterbrain said 54,600, or about 62 percent, were of the more advanced model.