I merely said it is a feat to ship 5.5 million units, because the PS3 is a beast of a system and Sony manufacturing really got their act together in calendar Q1, unlike Nintendo. And I've also read Nintendo's statement "actually we planned to reach out to new distribution channels thse days, but we still have trouble delivering to the existing ones" (paraphrasing) and you have to commend Sony for having delivered everything the channel partners wanted.
Filling shelves with plenty stock is good, not bad. It shows how well Sony manufacturing performs and how much retail trusts Sony. That the shelves won't get empty is another (serious) matter, but it doesn't take away the feat of Sony delivering.
I also don't get why on one hand you (John and mancandy) list all the facts that show the PS3's bad sales performance (like NPD and the gap between 3.6 and 5.5) and on the other hand you say that Sony was not providing enough facts to judge their performance. That doesn't make sense. If you can judge it now, what more do you want?
All numbers are on the table. What's sold to retail was ordered by retail and paid by retail. Next quarter will show you follow-up orders by retail that will directly reflect consumer interest and will possibly be just as tiny as Microsoft's calendar Q1.
And john, I would still like to know an example of another industry where companies announce "sold to consumer"?