Ken Kutaragi, head of Sonyâ€™s global computer entertainment division, told AP that 2 million PS3 units would be shipped to the US & Japan by the end of 2006, that’s half the original number. Just 400,000 PS3’s will arrive at launch in the US on November 17, whereas Japan will only receive 100,000 on November 11. As announced earlier today, Europe will receive zero this year, as the European PS3 launch has been delayed until March 2007.
Microsoft’s global launch had 1.5 million units available and the Xbox 360 had huge shortages at launch day and well into 2007. In short this means with shortages everywhere, effectively almost no one who wants a PS3 will be able to buy one at $500-600. Inflated eBay prices and in-stores packages of around $1,000 are already expected/feared. And that’s just in America, in Europe game/electronics retailers and developers were counting on the PS3 release this Christmas season to boost their sales, now their printed ads and resulting pre-orders will have to be cancelled.
Watch The Latest Gaming News:
Speaking about the European delay, Mr. Kutaragi said: “The production problem is causing about a one-month delay that will reduce the company’s supply capacity by about a million machines from the original plan. We decided to focus on the Japanese and U.S. markets. I am so sorry not to be able to answer to all the expectations. We’ve been working hard to try to tackle the problem, but we see the delay is inevitable.”
President and chief executive officer of SCEA, Kaz Hirai, said: “The change in the release date for PlayStation 3 in the SCEE territories will not impact our launch for the system here in North America. Our plans remain unchanged, and we are on track to meeting our goals with this important launch. It is also important to note that the previously announced global shipment forecast of six million units within the fiscal year ending 2007 has not changed.”
We’ll start believing Mr. Hirai again when that actually happens, since PS3 mass production won’t start until the end of September, assuming the problem with the Blu-ray* disc laser part of the PS3 gets fixed.
*Blu-ray disc (and HD-DVD) are next-generation video formats for the latest DVD recorders and players, but are also an essential part of the PS3 as it offers more room for games and gives the console movie playback.