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Sony sells 600,000 US PSPs in first week

Faster rate than Nintendo DS

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Sony sold half a million PlayStation Portables in the first two days of the handheld games console's US release, the consumer electronics giant said yesterday.

It's a significant number but only half the quantity of machines Sony shipped into the US for the PSP's 24 March debut.

But while the PSP didn't sell out in its first week, it did take less time to reach the 500,000-unit mark than Nintendo's DS did when it launched in the US last November. The DS took two weeks to notch up sales of half a million consoles. The Nintendo machine is cheaper than the Sony handheld, which retails for $249 in a Value Pack bundle.

Sony also said PSP sales generated $150m in first-week sales, which amounts to around 600,000 units. So after the initial splurge, sales fell significantly. Sony did not say how well the PSP has sold during its second week on the US market.

To date Sony has sold more than one million PSPs in Japan. The console was to have launched in Europe last month, but the company held back, the better to support the US release by getting a million consoles in the supply chain. The fact that the move hasn't proved as successful as Sony might have hoped - though the company said it was "everything we hoped for" - will only serve to suggest to European gamers that it should have stuck to Plan A.

Sony has not yet announced a formal date for the PSP's European debut, but it's expected to take place in June. ®

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