Sony plans US game release

Sony plans US game release

Gamers across the US are anxiously awaiting the release of the latest Sony gaming console - PlayStation 2. To prepare for what it believes will be the largest consumer electronics launch in history, Sony Computer Entertainment America has announced a schedule for PlayStation 2 launch-related activities for the North American market.

In order to ensure that PlayStation 2 sales in the US match the vendor's high expectations, Sony will launch an aggressive marketing campaign aimed at print, TV, cinema and online media. The company plans to target "new and emerging American popular culture," including playing a series of advertisements during the popular The Simpsons TV series, Sony said in a statement.

PlayStation 2 is currently only available in Japan where it has been on sale for more than half a year. Last month, Sony Computer Entertainment (SCEI) announced it had already shipped over 3 million PlayStation 2 games consoles in Japan.

Highlighting some of the upcoming PlayStation 2 game titles, the vendor will also screen a trailer in US cinemas which it expects will reach more than 48 million movie buffs.

Sony said it expects a staggering amount of demand for the new console and will therefore increase production activity from 400,000 units a month to more than 1 million units a month in the third quarter of this year, rising to 1.4 million units per month by year-end. A current components shortage, however, has the company falling a month behind production schedule, Sony said in the statement.

When October 26 hits, Sony will release 500,000 consoles across the North American continent. The company will then bolster that initial release with a steady flow of 100,000 units per week to keep up with its predictions of holiday season demand.

Sony claims the earlier PlayStation release is the best-selling home console on record and that more than one out of every four US households own that product. Along with game-play capabilities, PlayStation 2 comes with a DVD-Video player.

PlayStation 2 is not set to appear in Europe until November 24, and will not hit Australia until November 30. Sony said it will have close to twice as many titles available shortly after the European launch.

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