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2m PlayStation 2s to ship in first 2 days – Sony exec

Company ups sales predictions -- and then some

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A Sony executive today said the company expects to ship a massive two million PlayStation 2 consoles in its first two days. The sound you can hear in the background is the combined noise of hundreds of Sony staff rubbing their hands in anticipation of a major boost to the company's revenues. The 'two million units in two days' figure a significant increase on Sony's previous predictions, which cautiously called for one million units to ship throughout March, the month of the console's Japanese debut, and six million more throughout April and the rest of the console's first year. Sony most recently expressed that forecast last week when it issued its Q3 results. The latest prediction was made by Sony corporate advisor Kiyoshi Yamakawa in an interview with Reuters. Yamakawa also revealed more of Sony's plans to become a global e-commerce giant, recasting itself as what company president Nobuyuki Idei last year described as "an online department store". Sony yesterday opened an online store in Japan to sell its Vaio computers and consumer electronics kit direct. Yamakawa said this will be followed by e-commerce operations in Thailand and South-east Asian countries. Sony expects 30-40 per cent of its sales to be made online and direct to the customer in the future, he added. "I think it is vital for us to do a certain part of the business directly with customers," Yamakawa said. "If we don't handle it, we will lose the market share." That statement comes a day after the US National Association of Recording Merchandisers sued Sony for allegedly forcing shops to sell CDs that drive users to online stores affiliated with the company. ®

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