Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. said Thursday it will invest 125 billion yen to expand its production capacity for semiconductors, mainly for its PlayStation2 game console.

President Ken Kutaragi also announced that his firm will start selling computer chip sets used in PlayStation2 video game consoles and licensing contracts for the format of PlayStation2 to outside parties after next spring.

The move will enable third parties to load SCE’s semiconductors on various electronic products and thus enable consumers to play game software for PlayStation2 on other systems.

SCE’s supply of PlayStation2 consoles is tight due to good sales. The sale of chip sets and the PlayStation2 format will begin only after the firm increases its manufacturing capacity next spring.

SCE manufactures semiconductors for PlayStation2 at facilities in Isahaya, Nagasaki Prefecture. The firm operates a joint venture with Toshiba Corp. in Oita to make computer chips for PlayStation2.

Under the announced investment, SCE will increase semiconductor manufacturing capacity from the current 10,000 units a month to 18,000 at the Isahaya facilities and in Oita from the current 10,000 chips a month to 15,000 from next spring.

Since its introduction on the domestic market in March, SEC has shipped more than 2 million PlayStation2 units, according to the firm.