Oh, it's delayed...
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) today announced that it would revise the launch date of its PLAYSTATION 3 computer entertainment system in the PAL territories of Europe, Russia, Middle East, Africa and Australasia from 17th November 2006, as previously announced to March 2007.
Launch dates for Japan and North America will remain the same, which are November 11th and November 17th respectively.
The revision of the launch date in the SCEE territories is caused by the delay in the mass production schedule of the blue laser diode within the Sony Group, thus affecting the timely procurement of key components to be utilised in PLAYSTATION 3.
The previously announced PLAYSTATION 3 shipment forecast of 6 million units globally within the fiscal year ending 2007 is not changed.
We'll have reaction to the news later today.
HEXUS.gaming :: Second ShotNick Haywood, HEXUS.gaming Editor writes:
When I first saw this official announcement, I wasn’t in the least bit surprised.
We’ve known for some time that the PS3 launch was going to be problematic given the information being fed to us by industry sources.
But even without that information, it doesn’t take a genius to see that there’s trouble in the Sony camp.
For example, take Sony’s disastrous decision to run PS3 dev-kits at E3. Sure, we could all play the games that were in development, but putting rack-mounts on show? Where’s the sense in that? Having the software and telling us about launch titles is no good unless there’s some hardware to actually play it on and running a bunch of rack mounted dev-kits showed that the hardware wasn’t even close to being ready.
So let’s leap forward to the Games Convention 2006 in Leipzig. This time there’s not a rack mount to be seen… but there’s not a PS3 to be seen either, except for the dummy console in a Perspex case that we’ve been looking at since CES 2006 in Las Vegas last January. Great.
So there we were, just 3 months from the supposed launch and still with no running hardware. Time to start worrying? Maybe.
But we then need to couple that obvious no-show of the PS3 hardware with the information we’ve received from various industry sources that cite low yields on CELL chips, numerous production problems and unacceptable failure rates on production machines meaning roughly 200,000 finished production units have been delivered so far. That may sound a lot but that's after a three month production run! What can Sony do but delay the launch?
We saw it coming
Now, I don’t want to play the ‘We told you so’ card, but tell you we did way back in July 2005 when it became apparent that Sony were having problems, even back then. Willy Deeplung, our mole in the industry, brought us some disheartening news on the PS3 launch schedule which has now been proved to be true.
Check out the July 2005 News Archive, it’s the 6th story from the top of the page. While you’re there, try clicking through to the HEXUS.game-news Forums from that post, where you’ll find my personal prediction of a January 2007 launch at the earliest!
But I’m not going to harp on about how cool we are for getting this one right because, to be honest, it’s a crying shame. I’m looking forward to the PS3 but with every announcement and every delay my enthusiasm is eroded that little bit more.
What’s worse is that Sony will have now given up over a year to Microsoft and, if the Wii launches on time, (and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t), they’ll lose the massively important Christmas sales for the second year on the bounce.
What we can see happening now is that consumers who hung on, waiting for the PS3 in March, then waiting again for a November launch will now be fed up of waiting and very probably buy an Xbox 360 or a Wii, (or even both!), this Christmas. Don’t forget that these launch dates are just that, launch dates, which means that off-the-shelf availability, meaning you can walk into a shop and just buy one, isn’t going to come along until at least one or two months after launch.
Right now you can walk into any games or electrical shop that sells Xbox 360s and buy one. They’re in plentiful supply as are all the accessories.
So the big question is this: Can Sony rely on the loyalty of its fans for them to wait another 6 months or will they defect to Microsoft and Nintendo for their next-gen gaming?