Shortages are never good news for any manufacturer, but so long as demand remains high, the future continues to appear positive.
Sony suffered through a Japanese November 11 launch where they only managed to ship a mere 80,000 PS3 consoles, which ultimately caused major crowd-control issues and skyrocketing prices (Japan had an open-price policy on the system). The U.S. launch a week later wasn't any better, as half the already-slashed number of 400,000 units arrived on November 17, resulting in subsequent eBay insanity and a rash of crime.
However, according to Videogame Charts , the PS3 has already broken the million mark in worldwide sales. Perhaps most interesting about the numbers is the estimated 390,000 sold in Japan, which means Sony has moved an additional 300,000+ PS3 units in the country since that abysmal launch. The U.S. makes up the rest of the estimated million, coming in at about 620,000. Again, after shipping only around 175,000 for launch, Sony must have shipped approximately another 450k consoles.
Sony has been saying all along they intended to hit their goal of shipping one million PS3s in December…of course, they were only talking about the U.S. in that prediction. In comparison, however, Microsoft claims to have shipped about 900,000 360s between the system's launch in November 2005 and December 31, 2005. Of course, Japan has helped the PS3 sales significantly- the PS3 sold more in four weeks than the 360 sold in over a year. But even with all the PS3 hoopla this year, it becomes evident the shortages for both launches were/are quite severe.
Sony pushed a grand total of 111 million PS2s worldwide in a six and a half year span; can they even hope to approach that astronomical number with the PS3? Well, having a poor launch featuring very few top-notch titles, they've sold about a million in five weeks, so you do the math. Also remember the system isn't even available in Europe yet, so that zero will soon change in March. 111 million PS3s? Well, maybe.