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US PS3 sales rocket after 40GB console debut

80GB model's price cut a cause too?

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Sony's PS3 sales jumped up by almost 300 per cent last week, the company has claimed, attributing the sudden increase in demand to the introduction of the 40GB console.

According to an Associated Press report, Sony sold 100,000 PS3s in the US in the week ending 11 November, up from around 30,000 to 40,000 consoles a week in the run up to the $100 reduction in the price of the 80GB console on 18 October.

The 40GB PS2 went on sale in the States on 2 November. There's clearly a gap in Sony's numbers: what were the weekly sales in the two full weeks between the price cut and the commencement of the seven-day period that saw sales hit 100,000?

If they're much the same as before, that shows it's the introduction of the 40GB model that's driven the boom in demand. If they too mark a big increase in sales - albeit not enough to pass the 100,000 mark - then the cheaper 80GB console, not the 40GB version, is the reason.

Indeed, that 100,000 is for all PS3s - Sony didn't say how many were 40GB and how many were 80GB models.

Either way, it's good news for Sony, which has seen PS3 sales throughout 2007 languish in comparison with the much less powerful Nintendo Wii.

This coming Sunday, 18 November, will mark the end of the 40GB PS3's first week on sale in Japan, and it'll be interesting to see whether the console experiences a similar upturn in demand in its home territory.

PS3 sales in Japan peaked in July and have been falling month on month ever since, from around 90,000 down to under 50,000 last month. But that's as nothing to the plunge in Wii sales, from July's 400,000 peak down to just over 100,000 in October.

In the US, Sony shipped 119,400 units in September, while Nintendo shipped 501,000 Wiis, market watcher NPD revealed last month. Microsoft shipped 527,800 Xbox 360s, thanks to the launch of Halo 3.

Worldwide, Nintendo has shipped 9.3m Wiis, Sony 5m PS3s and Microsoft 11.6m Xbox 360s since each console's launch, AP said.

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