Is That 2.5 Million PlayStation Moves Shipped or Sold?

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PlayStation Move

Sony's giving Microsoft plenty to shoot for when Kinect for Xbox 360 launches November 4. Depending who you read, the Sony's either shipped or sold 2.5 million PlayStation Move motion-control units worldwide--1 million in the U.S. and 1.5 million in Europe--during its first 30 days on sale.

According to Reuters, SCEA president Jack Tretton says the company's sold 1 million units in the American market, and that the demand's so high, they "had to go back and increase production twice."

The LA Times begs to differ, calling that number the total shipped. The latter refers to units shipped from Sony to stores, but which may or may not have actually sold through to customers. The LA Times speculates "there's a good chance that many of them, if not all, have sold," citing Sony's director of hardware marketing John Koller, who claims stores have "minimal on-hand inventory" and that the company's "basically shipping every unit [it] can make."

Last week, Bloomberg quoted Sony Computer Entertainment Europe honcho Andrew House as claiming Move had "very significant sales in the first month since launch, somewhere in the region of 1.5 million units for the new controller across just Europe."

Sales? To retail merchants or consumers?

In any event, Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter reportedly has Sony down for 3 to 4 million Move units sold by year's end. Then again, Pachter's also the guy who back in 2005 thought Sony would have 55% of the market to Microsoft's 35% and Nintendo's 10%.

Shipped or sold, you can bet Sony's hoping the number has Microsoft sweating. Microsoft product director Aaron Greenberg's said the company expects to sell 3 million Kinect units globally through the holiday season, when the "you-are-the-controller" motion-sensing camera for the Xbox 360 launches in early November.

Update: Sony responded to a request for clarification, noting that Jack Tretton said 1 million "shipped," and that the number actually includes both North and Latin America, not just the U.S. and Canada (as others have reported). The 2.5 million number comes from the addition of Andrew House's 1.5 million "shipped" European claim.

The takeaway: Shipped, but not necessarily sold through, though Koller's comments definitely lean toward the latter.

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