PR Play of the Week: To play - or not - on PlayStation2

Whether by accident or design, Sony's announcement of a supply shortfall has whetted the public's appetite for PlayStation2, instantly positioning it as the can't-find-it-anywhere hit of the Christmas season and earning it a PR Play of the Week.

Whether by accident or design, Sony's announcement of a supply shortfall has whetted the public's appetite for PlayStation2, instantly positioning it as the can't-find-it-anywhere hit of the Christmas season and earning it a PR Play of the Week.

Whether by accident or design, Sony's announcement of a supply shortfall has whetted the public's appetite for PlayStation2, instantly positioning it as the can't-find-it-anywhere hit of the Christmas season and earning it a PR Play of the Week.

Sony announced it is shipping only 500,000 of the new game to the US for the Oct. 26 launch - half the expected number. The problem apparently stems from a crucial part shortage. Sony plans to remedy the situation by sending at least 100,000 additional models a week, bringing the total to one million by Christmas.

Like the Furbys and Cabbage Patch Kids of Christmases past, Sony's new edition will doubtless send parents on hunts from store to store, e-tailer to e-tailer. Little consolation will be found in the tantalizing descriptions of PlayStation2's fancy new features, which include high-speed Internet hook-up, digital videodisk player and a built-in massage attachment for the tortured necks of stupefied shoppers. (Not really, but it would have been nice).

Admittedly, Sony's share price took a hit following the news. But what does the consumer care about share prices? The prospect of disappointing children gathered expectantly around a Christmas tree will galvanize even the most cynical parent to exhaust every possible avenue, the resulting buzz escalating PlayStation2's brand equity.

The Wall Street Journal has already printed testimonials from video game aficionados who are frantically bidding on existing machines, available on the Japanese market.

The whole experience might inspire a new game. Anyone for a round of Final Fantasy IX: Christmas is Cancelled?



- Nominations for PR Play of the Week should be sent to news@prweekus.com.



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