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PlayStation2 Arrives...Along With Shortages

Boot Camp feature for Thursday, October 26, 2000

Sony's PlayStation2 arrives... but good luck getting one. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bloomberg Bootcamp. It's the successor to Sony's best selling video game console... adding DVD capability and what is called an "emotion engine" processor. But Sony has only been able to supply retailers in the U.S... .with half of the one million units they had expected to have ready for launch. A shortage is expected right through the holidays. That's not great news for game makers like Activision... which has poured a lot of resources into creating more than a dozen new games for the PlayStation. VP Kathy Vrabeck...

"There is certainly a shortage. We are as disappointed as anybody that the quantities went down for launch day. But Sony is still sticking with their forecasts for the first six months of three million units in the United States and about a million four through the holiday season."

But not everyone is unhappy about the PlayStation2 supply problems. It has given an unexpected boost to Sega's rival Dreamcast console. Sega VP Charles Bellfield...

"Well the other guy is still there, but unfortunately he's not getting as many to the stores, so we're up to our forecasts for this year. Probably selling somewhere in region of about two, two and a half million units just between the holidays up until March 31st... building to an installed base of around five million units of Sega Dreamcast here in North America alone."

And that means sales of 18 to 19 million games to play in the consoles.