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Can Sony sell 120 million PS3s by 2013?

A variety of factors conspired to give the Sony PS3 a massive sales boom in the UK and in the US recently. And now Sony hotshot Howard Stringer says the console is ready to emulate the booming accomplishments of the super-selling PS2.

"The momentum shift and the energy behind PS3 in time for Christmas is extremely fortuitous," the CEO of SCEA told the Hollywood Reporter.

"It was planned by the PlayStation group, but I think this momentum now - particularly the number of games coming out, including our own as well as third-party - is the same as it was with PlayStation 2."

"It takes time to build a new format," Stringer said. "The amount of bandwidth and the processing power of Cell gives game manufacturers a lot more work to do to use this system to its full benefit - and it's taken a while to do it. The same was true of PlayStation 2."

PS3: success or failure?

Recent price cuts, as well as the launch of the new, cheaper 40GB model, and also the stock shortages of the Nintendo Wii, have all combined in recent weeks to give the PS3 the boost it so badly needed.

Last month, the launch of the £299 40GB PS3 in the UK and the price reduction of the 60GB model sparked a 178 per cent rise in sales. A similar thing happened in the US market two weeks ago. But the problem for Sony is that the PS3 has gone through many of these sales increases.

But it hasn't yet managed to keep its numbers high. The PS3's $100 price cut in the US in July sparked a big sales spike, but the numbers soon dropped back down to previous levels. So where does this leave Sony?

Something worth playing, please!

As soon as Nintendo pulls itself together and starts pumping out more Wii consoles, the PS3 could suffer once again. But the crucial factor for Sony (and potential PS3 buyers) is, as ever, the games.

The reason why the PS2 is so successful, and to some extent why the Xbox 360 is currently beating the PS3, is that they both have a large library of great games. The PS3 doesn't have that, and until Sony and its third-parties start pumping out more hot titles, PS3 sales are always going to cool off after the odd spike.

So let's see what happens when the likes of Killzone 2, Grand Theft Auto IV, Gran Turismo and Metal gear Solid 4, among others, are available for the PS3. If it still can't maintain high sales with big titles, then Sony might have to think seriously about another price cut.

James Rivington

James has been working with TechRadar for over 12 years and is now the Global Editor-in-Chief of eCommerce at TR and its sister sites including PC Gamer and That means he looks after buying guides and deals pages as well as all of the nifty price comparison tools we use to help readers find the best deals on the coolest products.