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Sony Playstation 3 Release Postponed

T

tidusx99

Guest
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
TOKYO - Sony will put off the release of its much awaited PlayStation 3 console until November from its planned spring debut because more work is needed on its next-generation DVD technology, the company said Wednesday.

Ken Kutaragi, the head Sony's video games division, made the announcement at a hastily called news conference after reports of the delay surfaced in the business daily Nihon Keizai Shimbun and other papers.

The PlayStation 3 is critical for Sony Corp.'s profits and brand image, so the delay is a major setback for the Japanese electronics and entertainment company as it struggles to mount a recovery after several years of poor earnings.

The reports sent Sony's stock tumbling 1.8 percent to 5,470 yen ($46) Wednesday. Kutaragi announced the decision after the close of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

In the United States, however, Sony's American depositary shares rose as much as 2.2 percent and were recently up 34 cents at $46.85 on the New York Stock Exchange, off a four-year high of about $51 from late January.

U.S. analysts said Sony's announcement likely alleviated investors' concerns that the PlayStation 3 wouldn't reach the U.S. marketplace until 2007. The new timeline means that the PlayStation 3 will hit store shelves simultaneously in Japan, North America and Europe, just in time for Christmas.

"We believe the news will come as a relief to investors who had feared that Sony would not launch the console in Japan until November, followed by a typical four- to five-month lag into the U.S. market," Brendan McCabe of CIBC World Markets wrote in a research note.

Kutaragi said Sony is still trying to finalize the copyright protection technology and other standards for the Blu-ray DVD disc, the format for PlayStation 3, and next-generation video for the company's electronics gadgets in the works.

"I'd like to apologize for the delay," Kutaragi said at a Tokyo hotel. "I have been cautious because many people in various areas are banking on the potential of the next-generation DVD."

Blu-ray preparations were initially to have been completed by last September, but now won't be finalized until next month, he said.

The delay comes at a time when competition in next-generation game consoles is heating up with U.S. software maker Microsoft Corp. already putting the Xbox 360 on sale last year. Nintendo Co., the Japanese manufacture of Game Boy machines and Pokemon and Super Mario game software, is also planning its version called Revolution later this year.

The PlayStation series is now the dominant brand for home consoles, helping support Sony's bottom line in recent years, and controlling about 60 percent of the global market, according to Kutaragi. Sony has shipped nearly 204 million machines worldwide when combining shipments for the original PlayStation and its upgrade PlayStation 2.

Toshiaki Nishimura, analyst for Yasuda Asset Management Co., said the delay is likely to hurt game revenue for Sony, but the announcement wasn't a big surprise for the market, which had anticipated a delay. Speculation about a possible delay had been growing in the last few months.

But further delays that could force Sony to miss Christmas entirely would be detrimental, he said.

In a research note, Merrill Lynch analyst Hitoshi Kuriyama said Sony "still has a number of obstacles to surmount before it can achieve a simultaneous global launch of PS3 in November. We will need to keep close tabs on whether any further delays emerge because postponing the launch will worsen the company's competitive position."

Nonetheless, Nishimura said, "Sony is merely at the starting point of a race." He said more time is needed to assess PlayStation 3 and the advanced gadgets that will run on the same computer chip called "cell" that Sony is developing with Toshiba Corp. and IBM Corp.

"We are even a bit relieved that Sony has definitely said it's coming out with the PS3 because that's so critical for its cell business," he said.

The PlayStation 3 console can be used as a Blu-ray DVD player, but will also read previously released PlayStation and PlayStation 2 games, Kutaragi said. It will also have a hard disk drive, broadband and wireless Internet connections, and support high-definition televisions.

The company is expecting monthly production of 1 million machines, and targeting production of 6 million units for the fiscal year through March 2007, Kutaragi said.

Any setback in the PlayStation business could deal a big blow to Sony, which had just announced in January that it will post a profit of 70 billion yen ($592 million) for the fiscal year through March, instead of sinking into a 10 billion yen ($85 million) loss, as projected earlier.

For decades, Sony symbolized Japan's manufacturing power exemplified by the original Walkman. But in recent years, the company, which also has movie and music businesses, was battered by declining electronics prices.

Sony's core electronics division has lost money for two straight fiscal years. Since Welsh-born Howard Stringer took over last year as the first foreigner to head the company, Sony has been trying to achieve a turnaround.

It's only been in recent months Sony has made a comeback in flat-panel TVs using liquid crystal displays manufactured in a joint venture with South Korean rival Samsung Electronics Co. It has also come out with Walkman MP3 digital music players to catch up with the hit iPod from Apple Computer Inc.

---

Associated Press Business Writer Christopher Wang in New York contributed to this report.
 

Merc

Problematic Shitlord
V.I.P.
So what do you have to say on the subject?

I don't see a problem. If anything, the PS3 will have a more powerful launch because they have more time.
 
I

Ignazio

Guest
and I hope that theres no bugs so when we buy the system it doesn't meltdown or refuse to read disc's or w/e. I mean the Box 360 you leave it on for like 4 hours straight you can expect some problems to happen.
 
S

SOAD2k8

Guest
Ignazio said:
and I hope that theres no bugs so when we buy the system it doesn't meltdown or refuse to read disc's or w/e. I mean the Box 360 you leave it on for like 4 hours straight you can expect some problems to happen.
A lot of those overheating problems can be fixed by putting it somewhere where it can get some air, out in the open.

It looks like this could turn really ugly for consumers, again on the subject of Blu-Ray technology. The first Blu-Ray video players are comming out this summer and are going to cost - wait for it - $900. A few months later in November, the price will not drop very much at all. The PS3 not only will play Blu-Ray movies, but Blu-Ray games AND have a hard drive and internet capabilities, a cellular processor, along with a ton of other features that I don't really care to mention right now. The price for this thing is going to be through the roof, and I think that Sony will, honestly, fall flat on it's face with this one, because I see no way now that the system could even be affordable to the casual or hardcore gamer that isn't rich. The delay of the release might help a bit, but not enough.
 

Sephy

Forum Drifter
Who didn't see a delay coming? This is Sony, delays are a given.
 
B

barfootboards

Guest
im glad its being delayed ... work out every little bug posible, make it as good as it can be, dont rush it like other companys (cough cough MICROSOFT cough)
 
K

kajin_phoenixlord

Guest
Well that should be a plus for the Playstation 3. The quality should be better to anticipate I hope. When it does come out it still will be a while before I buy it. I've had bad experiences with buying consoles when they first release. hehe It ain't happening again.
 

Merc

Problematic Shitlord
V.I.P.
While I don't doubt that it is a good thing to hold back for quality's sake, Microsoft has taken a major jump ahead right now. Even when it came to the Gamecube, it's creators said that it's downfall was because of it's late release date. Hopefully, Sony will get this shit together quick.
 
K

kajin_phoenixlord

Guest
The Mercenary said:
While I don't doubt that it is a good thing to hold back for quality's sake, Microsoft has taken a major jump ahead right now. Even when it came to the Gamecube, it's creators said that it's downfall was because of it's late release date. Hopefully, Sony will get this shit together quick.
Ahh, ahhhh. I gotta disagree with you right there, man. Nintendo's game selection for the Gamcube sucked compared to the selections to PS2 or XBox. While PS2 and XBox game pretty much had variety for players of pretty much any age most of the games for Gamecube seemed to be more for kids if you think about it. There only a few "M" games for gamecube which was the Resdient Evil games, Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes and Mortal Kombat. Everything else was predominately "T" and "E" rated and like 80% of the games were Mario affiliated. I know Mario was kool everything, but let the man rest for a while. It's been like 25 years already. Besides the creators are apart of a corporation. Of course they would blame it on the timing. IMO, the game selections couldn't compete and that's why Gamecube failed.
 

Merc

Problematic Shitlord
V.I.P.
For a second there, I thought I read the words "variety" and "Xbox" in the same sentence. I hope I was mistaken.

So systems don't succeed unless they have hefty amounts of violence right? How about the GBA? Explain that. Gamecube was just a different audience, like the Xbox and the PS2 each had their own general crowds. The Gamecube was late to a party that had started without them and it was a main reason for their downfall and third place finish. I would like to see this 80% of T&E rated games ratio to M-rated games. I want to see facts, not opinions here.
 
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