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PS3 devkits very popular

Says PS3 chief. Predictably.

Sony has shipped around 100 PlayStation 3 development kits worldwide so far, according to SCE boss Ken Kutaragi, but the company is currently struggling to meet demand from developers and publishers for the hardware.

After the unveiling of the PS3 last month, Sony was finally in a position to start shipping devkits on a large scale, but this process appears to have been hampered by short supply of certain crucial components for the hardware.

Sony's current development kits for PS3 are reported to be closer to the architecture of the final hardware than Microsoft's current Xbox 360 kits, but the inclusion of parts like the Cell processor always had the potential to hold up the manufacture of kits, since the production process for Cell is still in its infancy.

Speaking in an interview with Jiji News, reported by US website GameSpot, Ken Kutaragi has admitted that the company is running out of parts for the dev kits after shipping just 100 units worldwide, and can't meet developer demand for the hardware.

PS3 is, however, around a year away from launch, and Sony will be hoping that the development kit shortage will be solved soon as more of its production facilities and supply channels for PS3 hardware come online - including the ultra-modern fabrication plant which has been constructed near the city of Nagasaki to manufacture Cell chips.

Speaking with our sister site GamesIndustry.biz last month at E3, SCEE executive VP of development Phil Harrison hinted that these shortages might be an issue for the firm, saying that "we've been making [development kits] for some time, but obviously they're not in abundant supply at the moment."

At the time, Harrison said that we would "see a lot more devkits rolling out" in the wake of the official unveiling of the console, but refused to discuss the exact schedule for the roll out of the hardware.

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