Sony Launches PSP in North America

The long anticipated North American launch of Sonys PSP (PlayStation Portable) has arrived. Sony shipped one million units of its $250 handheld gaming, movie and music player, but expects expect those to sell out quickly.

"We expect to see a sellout within the first week," said Andrew House, evp of Sony Computer Entertainment America, said to CNN. "The early indications were that pre-orders were very high. But, we have a very good product flow... into April and beyond. Production started at 150,000 units a month and we're ramping up to double that very quickly."

"The commitment is to ship 3 million units worldwide (by March 31), so between Japan and the U.S ... all systems are go to meet that commitment," Kaz Hirai, chief executive of SCEA told REUTERS.

The PSP is currently sold only in a bundle pack that includes a number of accessories. The first million units also come with a copy of the film SPIDER-MAN 2. Stand-alone units of the hardware, which sold in Japan for about $186, were not offered in North America.

To kick off the first sales of the PSP in Sony joined forces with Carson Daly to host a premiere party for the midnight opening of the Sony Style Store in New York City. Hirai was even on-hand to officially open the doors. Prior to doors opening at midnight, consumers were treated to sneak peeks of new games, giveaways and surprise appearances.

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