Sony admitted that it is delaying the release of its next-generation PlayStation console until November. The decision, the company says, is a marketing move but analysts believe the decision was due to difficulties sourcing components.
Analysts fear the decision could be a costly one for Sony in the thriving US$30bn games business. Merrill Lynch has warned that a postponement could affect Sony’s earnings for the financial year ahead.
The new console was expected to his the market this Spring. The president of Sony’s games division Ken Kutaragi said the decision was a strategic move aimed at giving developers enough time to create games and target their marketing towards the Christmas market.
He said that Sony would be able to produce around 1 million consoles a month by November and have 6 million machines produced by March 2007.
Kutaragi also said that disagreements between Hollywood studios and manufacturers over copy protection in the new DVD standard Blu-Ray meant that it would launch simultaneously in Japan, the US and the UK in November.
Sony currently dominates the global games console business with more than 100 million PS1 and PS2 units sold. Being first to market with the PS2 gave it a decisive edge over Microsoft’s rival Xbox device. However, this time round Microsoft was first to market in December with its Xbox 360 console.
Ireland has the highest penetration per capita of PS2 devices in the world outside of Japan.
By John Kennedy