PS3 delayed in Europe, Australasia and beyond
Bad news today for PlayStation fans and for Sony's role in the next-generation console battle, as the PS3 has been delayed until next year in several countries. Sony Computer Entertainment Europe announced the delay this morning, revealing that the release of the system in all PAL regions has been pushed back until March 2007. Once again, PAL gamers seem to be rightfully aggrieved that they are taking the wrap for a platform holders poor planning.
In an official statement confirming the slippage, the company explained the problem was 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 PlayStation 3."
Europe, Russia, the Middle East, Africa and Australasia are all impacted by the change of dating, and will now have to wait until March 2007... reports that Microsoft execs are throwing an impromptu all-day drinking party at their Euro HQ have so far been unsubstantiated. Sony, as they have always insisted, still reckon they're going to ship six-million consoles by the end of the 2006 financial year - but it now seems likely that these will be dished out between Japan and North America, where the console will still debut on the 11th and 17th of November respectively.
The blue laser diode problem apparently emerged a few days ago, with Sony even cutting back on the supply of the component to third-party Blu-Ray player manufacturers, but it was a case of too little too late for unlucky PAL gamers. So a PS3 global launch is no more, and this will serve as yet another knock to Sony's next-generation push, already cast into doubt by critics questioning the company's strategy and pricing.
"We are extremely disappointed at news of this delay. We can truly empathise with everyone who was looking forward to PS3's imminent release," Ray Maguire, MD of Sony UK, told GamesIndustry.biz today. "We will however be working tirelessly to ensure that the March 2007 launch is the biggest and best in the company's history." More on this major announcement as we get it.