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Sony to ship 20 million PSPs

So says Samsung, anyway.

Sony has told its manufacturing partners that it will ship 20 million units of the PlayStation Portable this year, according to Hwang Chang Gyu, head of the semiconductor business at Korean electronics firm Samsung.

Samsung supplies the NAND memory used by consumer electronics devices such as iPods and the PlayStation Portable, and Sony is one of the firm's biggest customers - with forthcoming Sony MP3 players also expected to use Samsung memory.

Hwang was speaking in a press conference late last year where he announced that the company had secured a huge order from an undisclosed buyer for NAND memory - bigger than the half-billion dollar order it secured from Apple in November.

Sony today declined to comment on Hwang's statement, with a representative of the firm telling our sister site, GamesIndustry.biz, that "the only statement we have made for PSP is to confirm we have shipped 10 million [units]... No further announcements [have been made] for 2006 or next fiscal year."

Over ten million units of the PlayStation Portable shipped during 2005, with a million of those going to the UK alone, but the device continues to lag behind Nintendo's DS handheld in terms of overall sales. The DS had sold through over 13 million units worldwide by the end of 2005.

Sony may well be hoping that better manufacturing rates will allow it to speed up the rate of shipments of the PSP, while the launch of new software such as Gran Turismo 4 should increase demand for the system. 2006 will be the first year that the PSP has been available worldwide, as it didn't complete its global roll-out until September 1st when it finally arrived in European stores after a nine-month delay.

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GamesIndustry International is the world's leading games industry website, incorporating GamesIndustry.biz and IndustryGamers.com.

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