Sony promises to ship 10 million PS2s by 1 April

But analysts aren't so confident

Sony insisted Monday that a total of ten million PlayStation2 units will be shipped worldwide by the end of March 2001, even though it will have to double its production rate to succeed.

Sony Computer Entertainment vice chairman Shigeo Maruyama told Bloomberg News that the company's aim -- to ship ten million consoles worldwide in the year ending 31 March including three million shipments in both Europe and in the US -- will "probably" be met.

However the company will have to start making consoles twice as quickly as it has managed so far if it is to succeed. Since April 2000 it has only shipped five million, and is currently making one million PS2s per month.

Some experts don't think it likely that Sony will be able to boost production rates in time. "It's difficult for Sony to double output right now," Takashi Oka, an analyst with Tsubasa Research Institute Ltd, told Bloomberg. "Sony's making just one million units a month right now and needs time to tool up for the extra production," he added.

Sony was forced to cut the number of PS2s it supplied to the US and to Europe. The UK was initially promised only 200,000 units -- a figure which later dropped to 165,000. The shortages were blamed on a lack of graphic synthesizer chips.

For complete gaming news, see GameSpot UK.

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