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September 6, 2006

Sony delays PS3 in Europe

Posted by David Hunter at 9:04 AM ET.


Sony Corp. said on Wednesday it would delay the European launch of its PlayStation 3 (PS3) game machine to March from November due to inadequate supply of a key component, missing the critical Christmas shopping season in one of its main markets.

I feel sorry. I think there are so many people out there who hold such high expectations for PS3,” said Ken Kutaragi, the head of Sony’s game unit and known as the “father of the PlayStation”

The delay means that the PS3 falls substantially behind its rival machines — Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Nintendo’s Wii — in time to market in parts of the world. Microsoft launched its Xbox 360 late last year and Nintendo plans to offer the Wii in the final quarter of 2006.

Kutaragi said commercial production of blue laser, a key component for PS3′s Blu-ray optical disc drive, has fallen behind the original schedule, forcing the delay.

Yet another reason why building the Blu-ray player in was a bad idea.

Sony has kept unchanged its Japan launch on Nov. 11 and North American launch on Nov. 17. It has also stuck to its target to ship 6 million units of PS3 worldwide by the end of March despite the delay in Europe.

Shipping the same total number of units if there’s a part shortage would seem to be a neat trick. There’s more by following the link and also at The Register where Leo Waldock observes that the delay is for “the PAL territories of Europe, Russia, Middle East, Africa and Australasia ,” and:

Sony’s comment that the delayed European launch won’t affect global sales suggests that it doesn’t have a prayer of meeting demand when it finally gets around to launching the console.

That isn’t quite what they said, but is likely the right answer.

Update: More details on volumes from Yuri Kageyama at the AP:

The company is still sticking to its initial global target of shipping 6 million PlayStation 3 machines by March 2007.

But far fewer machines will be available for the launch dates in Japan and the U.S. because of the production problem, Kutaragi said.

In the U.S., about 400,000 PlayStation 3 machines will be available when they go on sale Nov. 17. About 100,000 will be available on the Nov. 11 Japan launch date.

Mass production of the machine is set to start end of September, he said.

Although Sony had initially counted on shipping 4 million PlayStation 3 machines worldwide by the end of the year, that will likely fall to 2 million, he said.

Filed under Blu-ray, Coopetition, Hardware, Microsoft, Sony, Xbox

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2 Responses to “Sony delays PS3 in Europe”

  1. Sony’s PS3 stumbles out of the gate -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Last week, Sony said it had shipped 1m PS3s in the US by the end of December. However, it only passed the 2m global shipments mark yesterday. It forecast 2m PS3 shipments by the end of 2006 in September, when it also delayed the console’s European introduction. … Still, Sony can boast that the PS3 has reached the 2m in less time than it took the PS2, reaching that point in a day under two months. The 2 million forecast was mentioned previously here and was also coupled with a stated intention to ship 6 million PS3s by the end of Sony’s current fiscal year in March. Nomura Securities doesn’t think they’ll make that target either and says a more realistic number is 4.5 million with cuts in their prior estimates for following years as well. Also the latest rumor is that the PS3 won’t get to Europe until late March. [...]

  2. Sony PS3 launched in Europe and Australia -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Presumably having worked out the kinks in manufacturing that had delayed a European launch, Sony finally released their next-gen PS3 game console in Europe and Australia and there was the predictable PR puffery: At the London launch everyone who bought a PS3 also received a free 46-inch HD television and a taxi home. [...]

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