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EA wants more PS3's for Euro launch

Launch units falling short is 'nothing new' - Intat

With the PS3 officially available in modest numbers in both the US and Japan, Electronic Arts' vice president and general manager of Europe has told GamesIndustry.biz that he would like to see more units available when the console hits stores shelves in March next year.

Jens Uwe Intat believes that the launches have been a success from Sony's perspective, with the console selling out across North Amercia and Japan.

"We think they have obviously just put into the market a fairly small amount of machines and sold them all," said Intat. "And there also seems to be a decent media hype around the arrival of the PS3 so if I put myself into Sony's shoes I would think it went well.

"For the launch of new hardware, you will never be able to have as many [units] out there as people would like. It's better this way around than having new hardware sitting on shelves," he added.

When asked what EA would like Sony to do differently for the European launch, Intat replied: "We would obviously like to see more units. For sure, they will not have enough, but they can never have enough."

Intat also revealed that as a publisher EA has recently been taking hardware manufacturers' launch estimations with a pinch of salt, expecting final numbers to fall shy of the figures spouted by execs on the run-up to release.

"What we've really been seeing on the last hardware launches from all manufacturers is that there has always been deterioration in the amount of units on the run-up to launch, so it's nothing new," he said.

"The first day is not overly important for us, it's more important that the machine keeps on selling. That's why it's important that the hype and momentum keeps running because the installed base builds up over time, not in the first week."

Depsite Sony's well-publicised manufacturing struggles, the publisher is still confident the PlayStation 3 is on track to hit European retailers this coming March.

"We have no reason to believe that it's not," said Intat. "We hope not just as a business but as consumers, that it does show up."

And although Sony's market-leading console is not launching in PAL territories before the end of the year, Intat still believes there are plenty of opportunities for publishers' to take advantage of the early launch in 2007.

"We hope the machine is going to arrive in Spring so consumers can start to enjoy it throughout the summer. With the hardware launching in March you build a decent installed base by September, and the you have a lot of word-of-mouth support for that machine when the Christmas season starts. By the end of next year there should be a very substantial installed base," Intat concluded.

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Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.

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