It seems that we Brits still love PlayStation. Of the whopping 220,000 made available to UK shops at launch, Sony announced that 165,000 were sold over the first four days. Which is a resounding success, however you look at it, and makes the PS3 the fastest-selling fixed console of all-time (the PSP, admittedly, shipped 185,000 units in the UK in its first weekend on sale).
Fair enough, Sony’s claim that the PS3 is the fastest initial-seller of any console has been enabled by the unprecedentedly huge stocks available at launch, but the fact remains that the Wii sold 105,000 units in the same period and the Xbox 360 70,000.
And the news must be a tad embarrassing to those who doomily predicted that UK consumers, put off by its £425 price-tag, would snub the PS3, leaving piles of unsold stock to gather dust in shops around the country. Palpably, we have taken to it enthusiastically in fact, more so than any other nation.
Whatever the accusations of spin that surrounded Sony’s contention that the European delay would at least allow it to sort out the launch line-up, the company does now seem to have a point – would the American market have embraced the PS3 more quickly if MotorStorm, for example, had been on sale at launch (it only made it into US shops a couple of weeks ago)?
At last, though, we can all go out and buy PS3s, and you could almost hear the nationwide sigh of relief on Friday 23 March. So Three Speech can now fix its sights firmly on the PS3’s future – look out for a piece on the hottest PS3 titles due to arrive in 2007, and much more besides.
By Steve Boxer