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Sony coughs to PS3 stock shortfall

Demand too high, spins console giant

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Sony has admitted it is not shipping enough PlayStation 3 consoles into the UK.

The company told the trade paper MCV today that it is experiencing PS3 "stock issues". Sony UK Sales Director Mark Howsen said: "We are doing our best to address these issues and hope to catch up in the next few weeks."

The shortages - which Sony says are particularly hitting the 120GB PS3 Slim - affect the US too. The company's US wing said earlier this week that would-be buyers can "expect tight inventory in the coming months" - 'sold out' signs in shops, in other words.

Howsen paints the shortages as a sign of strong demand for the console - 20 per cent higher than Sony had forecast.

And it does Sony no harm to keep eager buyers unsatisfied. It helps sell the consoles it is feeding into the UK: if it's sold out, it must be popular; if it's popular, it must be worth having, some punters assume.

But too many 'sold out' signs, on shelves for too long, will eventually irritate buyers to the point that that the give up - and Microsoft's Xbox 360 takes the sale. Sony doesn't want that, especially with the arrival of the latest title in the Final Fantasy franchise, FF XIII, less than a month from release. ®

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