Citing high demand, Sony predicts a sell-out launch for the PlayStation 4

Pre-orders for the PlayStation 4 have topped a million, a Sony rep said this week. 

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    A visitor plays a Playstation 4 at the Sony exhibition stand during the Gamescom 2013 in Cologne August 21, 2013.
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On Nov. 15, Sony will launch the PlayStation 4 in the US and Canada, with a late November launch for much of Europe and Latin America. 

But don't expect to find a bevy of PS4 units on shelves: According to a top Sony rep, we may be looking at a sell-out launch for the new console. In an interview with Videogamer.com, Sony Computer Entertainment UK chief Fergal Gara says that pre-orders for the PS4 had passed a million already, "way over" the amount of pre-orders for the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3. 

"The one comment I'll make about the pre-order number is first of all, it's greater than a million, and secondly, the UK represents a very healthy slug of that. We're undeniably seeing a sea change," Mr. Gara says, adding that Sony was "doing everything we can to secure every last unit ... so we can do [our] very best to meet the demand as it stands for day one and clearly chasing there after. It's a little bit of a problem, but it's good problem to have."

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It may be worth noting that in some ways Sony wants a sell-out, which would indicate strong demand for the console, and help stoke the appetites of gamers across the world. It's certainly better, at any rate, to have too few consoles available than it is to have too many. (As Nintendo, which is dealing with anemic Wii U sales, could probably tell you, there's nothing more depressing to a manufacturer or a retailer than an overstocked shelf.) 

Plus, even if Sony isn't selling out, it wants to look as if it is. There's no reason to think Gara is lying, but the company needs to act as if there's momentum behind its console, whether there is or not.

Sony has priced the PlayStation 4 at $399 in the US, making it a full hundred bucks cheaper than the Microsoft Xbox One – no small deal when many gamers will have to pinch pennies to afford the approximately $60 games. And about those games: Sony has lined up a solid launch list, with tried and true franchise installations such as Call of Duty: Ghosts and Madden 25 and heavily-hyped titles such as WatchDogs. 

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