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PS4 will be in short supply until April, Sony says

Shops won't have a decent supply of PS4 consoles for at least another month, according to the boss of PlayStation UK.

Sony's PS4 sold out before Christmas, and it looks like the console will stay in short supply for at least another month. That's the word straight from the horse's mouth, as Sony predicts retailers won't have a plentiful supply of the console until April, MCV reports.

The console has outsold the Xbox One, and has even exceeded Sony's expectations. Sony UK's managing director Fergal Gara told MCV: "I can't work it out precisely. But based on what I've seen so far, I think it is going to be tricky until around April. You might get a fortnight or a week here or there where it is more available, but we should be back in free supply by about April."

There were so many pre-orders, those at Sony have been "pinching ourselves" according to Gara, and "wondering if people were pre-ordering in more than one place, and if some of these pre-orders were real."

So how does he explain its success? He says it's down to the spread of smart phones and tablets. Rather than cannibalising the home console market, they've made people more used to upgrading their software on a regular basis.

"The price differential between PS3 and PS4 is not nearly as big as it was between PS2 and PS3," Gara said. "But you are also talking about a public that has become used to regular technology upgrades on reasonably expensive devices, like tablets and smart phones. So there is a comfort level with upgrading that meant consumers were ready earlier and there was a pent-up demand that we couldn't anticipate.

"It's been a pleasant surprise," he added.

The PS4 launched in Japan today, a full three months after it hit the UK. Microsoft is yet to announce a launch date for the Xbox One in Japan.

Do you think smart phones and tablets are responsible for the PS4's success? Or will they ultimately render home console obsolete? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.