After the huge shortages following the PlayStation 2’s launch, many people felt like history would repeat itself with the debut of Sony’s new handheld, the PSP. Sony claims to have sold out its first shipment, which totals 1 million units, but a simple look around local stores tells a different story. A quick call to several area Target and Wal-Mart stores revealed PSP’s available at each one. A visit to the local KB Toys found three or four units on the shelves, and the clerk said it hadn’t really garnered much interest.
The Dallas Morning News recently ran a story that found that stores around the country have similar stock on hand. In it, they speak to Greg Peterman, a store manager for a Super Target in Dallas, said he had expected gamers to line up Thursday before the doors opened. "We weren't hit like that," he said. "We thought we were going to be. But it didn't really happen." Peterman said he still has several PSP’s for sale. "I just don't think it was as popular as people thought it was going to be, with people already having PlayStation 2s," he said.
Does this mean the launch was a failure? Not hardly. The Dallas Morning News also spoke with Dan DeMatteo, vice chairman and COO for video-game retailer GameStop, who said the company is out of the system, aside from a few unclaimed preorders. "We're talking to Sony, trying to find out when we'll get more," he said. "We probably won't know until the end of the week."
The good news in all of this is that there are units available for anyone who didn’t go to the stores for fear of not getting one, or someone that was undecided at launch, but now wants a PSP. Sony doesn’t seem worried in the slightest, as reviews for the system have been very positive, the launch lineup is very deep, and the bottom line is actually having units to sell is a good thing.