PS3 - Further Delay Evidence

PS3 - Further Delay Evidence PS3 - Further Delay Evidence

Sony's appearance at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas has created intense speculation regarding the possibility of a launch delay for its Playstation 3 console, speculation which is being further fueled by industry analysts.

MegaGames has already reported on various analyses claiming that PS3 may not arrive until Q4, 2006, but now further evidence is being presented suggesting that a delay in Sony's next-gen console launch may be unavoidable.

Analysts are presenting evidence which goes a long way in convincing the market that Sony may be considering a delay in the PS3 launch. The first observations suggesting that something may not be quite right are those revolving around Sony's presence at CES 2006. Although Sony had a large enough booth at the show, PS3 was in a glass case far behind the company's main exhibits, i.e. televisions and mp3 players while the only PS3 content available was limited to a few non-playable demos. The next big giveaway that something may be up was Sony Chief Executive Howard Stringer's keynote speech, at the show, which failed to provide any launch information on the console which was expected to be Sony's hot item during CES and instead focused on PSP.

Knowing that any delay in the Playstation 3 launch would cause the product a lot of damage in its fight for supremacy with Microsoft's XBox 360 console suggests that only a serious reason could be behind any delay. The latest news implies that Sony may be having a problem with its yield figures for the Cell chip. Yield is the ratio of usable chips per silicon wafer and manufacturers do their best to maximize it before beginning mass production of a chip. The choice to include a Blu-Ray drive with the new console may also contribute to production delays since Samsung and Pioneer both announced Blu-Ray drives that cost in excess of USD 1,000.

Since some analysts have suggested that if a delay does happen it may only be 2-4 months, a staggered launch has been suggested. That plan calls for a Japanese launch for PS3 in spring or summer 2006, a U.S. launch November 1, 2006 and a European launch in March 2007. These plans call for very few launch titles, under the 19 that Microsoft had to accompany the launch of X360.

Additional evidence of a delay comes from publisher Take-Two Interactive and its recent fourth-quarter earnings conference call during which Chief Financial Officer Karl Winter said that he expects PS3 will be introduced: ...near the end of our fiscal year. Take-Two's fiscal year ends Oct. 31.

The accumulating evidence suggests that Sony may not be able to have the combination of hardware, price and titles necessary for a U.S. launch although it may just make it and get PS3 out in Japan.