updated 10:30 am EDT, Mon July 27, 2009
Sony Doubling PS3 Builds
Sony is rapidly accelerating production of the PlayStation 3 in what may be a sign of confidence in its upcoming 120GB slim model. Tips from integrated circuit (IC) distributors sent to DigiTimes have Sony ordering enough of their parts on average to make 1 million of the game consoles just for this summer, or twice the rate that was seen in the spring. The rate is said to be high enough that demand is outstripping supply at Renesas, which makes the key chipsets for the PS3.
Ramping up production so sharply may support multiple and often corroborated rumors that the revamped PS3 is due to ship in August and that it will likely include a price cut that most assume will drop the system down to $299. Most console price drops produce at least a temporary spike in sales and would need Sony to be ready with enough stock to meet demand.
The Sony system has regularly struggled to compete against not only Nintendo's runaway Wii sales but the more comparable Xbox 360 and has been one of the few consoles to see a decline in sales even when others were gaining. Most critics have blamed pricing for the sluggish sales as even the least expensive PS3 has usually cost as much as the most expensive Xbox 360. Developers like Activision have implied they may have to scale back or drop PS3 versions of games without assurances PS3 sales would improve.
Sony itself has repeatedly denied any price drops but has had a history of denying PS3-related news, including lower prices, only to confirm it days later.