Gamer Mania 2

Thursday, September 07, 2006

More Problems Head Sony's Way

When Sony's PlayStation and PlayStation 2 consoles launched worldwide, there was up to nine months between the Japanese and European releases. So European gamers rejoiced when, at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo, it was announced that the PlayStation 3 launch would take place worldwide over a matter of weeks in November.

However, this morning Sony has issued a statement saying that the PlayStation 3 release date has been pushed back to March 2007 in Europe, Russia, the Middle East, Africa, and Australia. Sony cited 'the delay in the mass-production schedule of the blue laser diode within the Sony Group' as the reason for the postponement.

I was sort of surprised, but as much as I’m not liking Sony lately, I honestly don’t feel like slamming them for this. I mean, hey, it’s understandable that Blu-Ray is new and they’re having trouble producing it. Two things that are total BS about this are: They’re having problems with the Blu-Ray in only Europe? I know we’re in the US, but I can’t help but feel bad for the guys over in the Euro, which leads me to my second BS note: People in Europe were made to put down 150 pounds for preordering this. Would you be pissed off if you were a parent buying one of these for your kid, put down 150 pounds ($250-300), and then were told you won’t be able to get it until 3 months after Christmas? That means either the kids won’t be getting gifts for 3 months, or their parents will be out all that money. Sad either way. Here’s what I’m really worried about for Sony:

After a large amount of confusion, Sony has now confirmed that it has drastically scaled back the scope of the PS3 launch in Japan in the US. Only 100,000 PS3s will be in Japanese stores when the platform goes on sale there on November 11. North America will only get 400,000 units for its PS3 launch on November 17.

The combined figure of 500,000 is one quarter of the 2 million units Sony predicted would be available at launch worldwide as late as this morning. The company has since lowered its worldwide 2006 shipment estimates from 4 million to 2 million-2.4 million. Officially, Sony's global shipment forecast of 6 million units for its 2007 fiscal year, which ends March 31, 2007, remains unaffected.

Ok, that’s 400,000 PS3’s in the US. About half will be the $600 ones. That’s 200,000 good ones, over 50 states, which is 4,000 good PS3’s per state. Say hello to $2,000+ sales on eBay!

Real problem isn’t the US though, only 100,000 of the things are going to Japan?! What the hell, the 360 isn’t selling over there so they think they can give them the short end of the stick? In case they don’t know, they are HUGE in Japan, 100,000 will go very, very quickly.

So, things just keep looking more and more grim for Sony, but even as much as I don't like them, I hope they don't go out this time. I would like to see a 3rd place from them, but they should stay in the market still. Crossing my fingers that they can get their act together, fast. On a slightly different note, this will be amazing for Nintendo and Microsoft in Europe and just about everywhere, I know very many people will cave in waiting that long for a PS3, as I finally did back in March.



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