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Sony airlifting PS2s to Europe and North America

Continued shortages of PlayStation 2 hardware at retail have led Sony to take the drastic step of hiring cargo planes to fly consoles directly into affected territories in North America and Europe, according to the firm.

Continued shortages of PlayStation 2 hardware at retail have led Sony to take the drastic step of hiring cargo planes to fly consoles directly into affected territories in North America and Europe, according to the firm.

Huge Antonov AN24 aircraft have been chartered to bring shipments of the new slimline PS2 from factories in China to airports in the UK and the United States, with each plane carrying around 40,000 consoles.

According to quotes published by news agency Reuters, Sony Computer Entertainment America claims that this situation has been ongoing "for some time", with the firm reportedly hoping to be meeting demand for the console by Christmas.

Here in the UK, the situation is even graver than in the USA, with Sony's own mistake in underestimating the demand for the "PStwo" redesigned console being compounded by a delay to a large shipment of hardware last month.

That delay was caused when an oil tanker became stuck in the Suez Canal in early November, holding up more than 100 ships in the first extended closure of the canal in almost 40 years.

However, despite Sony's efforts to improve the stock situation, a number of analysts are concerned that the lack of hardware will negatively impact the growth of the industry as a whole in one of the most important periods of the year.

NPD sales figures for the US videogame industry in November, released yesterday, showed only a 2 per cent overall rise in revenues - coming on the heels of a 23 per cent gain in September, and a 15 per cent gain in October.

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Rob Fahey avatar

Rob Fahey

Contributing Editor

Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.

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