Sony to Delay European PlayStation 3 Launch [UPDATED 2]

Sony Postpones PS3 Release in EU, Cites Blu-Ray Manufacturing Issues

by Anton Shilov
09/06/2006 | 01:34 AM

UPDATE 1: Adding comments by Ken Kuratagi, reasons for the delay.
UPDATE 2: Rearranging news-story, adding background details.

 

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) said that it would delay the European release of its highly-anticipated PlayStation 3 game console to March, 2007, as a result of insufficient supply of Blu-ray disc drive components. Still, the firm stressed that it would succeed in shipping 6 million game consoles till March 31, 2007.

“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,” an official statement by the company reads.

Ken Kutaragi, the head of SCEI, said the machine would still be launched in November in the U.S. and in Japan and the only affected regions are Europe, Russia, Middle East, Africa and Australasia. Mr Kutaragi blamed the European delay on problems in mass producing elements of the high-definition Blu-ray disc drives in the machines, BBC reports.

Sony PlayStation 3 console is based on the Cell processor developed by IBM, Sony and Toshiba, the RSX graphics chip by Nvidia Corp. and will be equipped with Blu-ray optical disk drive, a hardware part, which is merely available today.

Sony still said it plans to deliver 6 million of its game consoles to the market until the end of its fiscal year (March 31, 2007), the same amount of game machines it planned to have shipped till the aforementioned date.

But later-than-expected launch dates in certain regions are not the only problems the company will have with its PlayStation 3 game console. Among others there are high building costs that may reach up to $900 per console, according to estimations made by analysts, while Sony has to sell the PS3s for $499 or $599 depending on the system configuration.

According to Merrill Lynch research company, the most expensive component of the PlayStation 3 will be its Blu-ray disk drive, which will initially cost $350. The second most expensive part of the gaming machine will be the Cell processor which will cost Sony “at least” $230 per unit to make. Nvidia’s RSX graphics processor will cost $70, while for 256MB of XDR memory as well as 256MB of GDDR3 memory Sony will have to pay $50, believes Merrily Lynch.