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PS3 Game Console Ship Date Delayed

by February 20, 2006

According to a report at Reuters , Sony's launch of the PlayStation 3 (PS3) could be delayed if "industry specifications" for some of its technology are not finalized soon. Despite the news, Sony is still gearing up for a Spring rollout.

The article's discussion of delays is laced with vague references to technology surround Blue-ray Disc and "input and output video and sound". To us this spells out a couple of things: BD-related DRM issues and HDMI 1.3 finalization. In essence the game console is likely being delayed over issues having to do with use of the console as a BD source component.

"We're waiting for them until the last possible minute, but the launch could be pushed back if they're not decided soon," an anonymous spokeswoman said. "If the PS3 is not ready in time, the company will choose the next best timing for the launch." (Thanksgiving/Christmas would be our guess)

This was followed by an encouraging "No one is seriously thinking a Spring release is realistic any more," said Hiroshi Kamide, an analyst at KBC Securities. "If I were Sony, I wouldn't be that worried about releasing as soon as I possibly could." Ah yes, delay all you want - we'll just wait patiently and avoid all thoughts of Xbox 360 or playing newer games available on both consoles.

This flippant remark referenced slow sales of Microsoft's Xbox 360 console as reassurance that people are waiting for the technologies to mature. Perhaps the slow rollout had just a little bit to do with the complete lack of inventory prior to Christmas.

Merrill Lynch said in a research note last week that the PS3's launch might be delayed by 6 to 12 months. They also mentioned that the cost (note: not sale price) of each unit could initially approach $900.

With Microsoft selling (sporadically) its Xbox 360 units at $400, this means that Sony may have to really take a bath on the initial units to gain marketshare...

Yuta Sakurai, a senior analyst at Nomura Securities, estimated that Sony could charge at most $420 for the console, believing that price will outweigh - in terms of importance - the shipping date.

While Sony seems to be preparing to have a gigantic rollout by Christmas, we hope this won't be yet another duplicate of the Microsoft Xbox 360 2005 fiasco - with evaporating inventory and a lack of substantial software.

A game console with integrated Blu-ray Disc will be a driving force in the marketplace, and we're excited about the new products, but consumers are also fickle. Let's hope the powers that be involved in licensing the technologies behind BD don't unnecessarily hold up the content developers and hardware manufacturers. Let's move it, people!


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Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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