Sony postpones PlayStation 3 release until November due to Blu-ray delay

“Sony will put off the release of its much awaited PlayStation 3 console until November from its planned spring debut because of delays in finalizing its next-generation optical disc technology, the company said Wednesday,” Yuri Kageyama reports for The Associated Press Writer. “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 new timeline means that the PlayStation 3 will still hit store shelves simultaneously in Japan, North America and Europe, just in time for Christmas. 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,” Kageyama reports.

“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,” Kageyama reports. “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.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Sony may have come out with Walkman MP3 players, but catching up to Apple’s iPod is another thing entirely. We wouldn’t lump whatever Walkman Sony has out today (could be canceled tomorrow, see Walkman Bean) in the “comeback” category, if, indeed, that was what Kageyama’s intent. As for the PlayStation 3 delay, isn’t November awfully close to Christmas? If that really the best Sony can do?

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Related articles:
BusinessWeek: Apple’s iPod+iTunes Store ‘kicking the stuffing out of Sony’ – March 03, 2006
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Sony’s Walkman Bean is cooked – February 13, 2006


  1. After the PS3 gets launched Blue Ray players and drives will probably drop in price, just like it happened with the PS2 and DVD players. This will be good for Mac fans because we can expect to see Macs with Blue ray drives in 2007.

  2. Did anyone else notice that the only reason provided for the delay is that they are finalizing COPY PROTECTION. They delay is not to make a beter product. The delay is to protect Sony. Way to go, Sony!

  3. Anybody else wondering if IBM can’t get the processor out the door for Sony?

    Perhaps IBM promised a low price for building the CEL Processor but is now wanting more for it because it’s a little more work than they anticipated.

    Sony may be adding up the build cost and not willing to swallow the loss on the sale of every box. With all their other losses maybe they’re just being cautious.

    MS used more generic components but they’re still buying customers by selling the X-Box hardware below cost.

    The existing PS system still has legs and traction in the market. The development cost has been recovered as well. Postponing the release of something new is a tough decision but it might be a wise business move after considering all the factors.

    Recent reports indicate a plateau in gaming sales has been reached. There might not be enough remaining gold in the mine for Sony to risk more defeat digging for it.

  4. My knee-jerk reaction is to think Sony is over, that they’ll join Atari, Sega, and Nintendo as once-great console manufacturers.

    But then I think “to be replaced by who??” Microsoft and their XBox360? Unless you like sports, driving, or shooting, it has crap-all for games.

    My wife is a rabid gamer. She owns every major console going back to the NES, with one exception. She never got an XBox. There simply weren’t any games worth buying the console for. She likes RPGs, creative platformers, puzzle-solvers, cute games. I never once heard her lament her lack of an XBox.

    Unless this changes, unless XBox starts to offer titles that aren’t just for the testosterone-junky crowd, Sony will win the next round by default.

    (Yeah, there’s Nintendo’s Revolution, but it’s an odd bird. I don’t see it as direct competition to either of the other two consoles.)

    (Heh! MDNMW is “husband”!)

  5. “Did anyone else notice that the only reason provided for the delay is that they are finalizing COPY PROTECTION. They delay is not to make a beter product. The delay is to protect Sony. Way to go, Sony!”

    Actually the copy protection is for the movie industry. According to the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, the delay is due to complications with the AACS copy protection system being implemented into the Blu-ray specification.

  6. LordRobin-
    I had both an Xbox and a PS2, and I haven’t bought a PS2 game in two years.

    Xbox was missing the Japanese RPGs, but it had The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind on it (which is probably my favorite game of all time). The 360 is releasing the sequel to that game, Oblivion, in one week.

    My wife also enjoys cutesy games, and she loved the Sims. Currently she really enjoys Kameo: Elements of Power on the 360.

    I certainly agree with you that the Xbox tends to cater to an older, more testosterone-filled crowd, but look at what games tend to make a lot of money. There are some great RPGs and more toned down games out there for it.

    My biggest concern about the PS3 are the constant rumors and speculation that the pricing point will be between $600-$800. Here is a quote by Ken Kutaragi, the “father of the Playstation”:

    “[PS3] is not a game machine. We’ve never once called it a game machine. I’m not going to reveal [the PS3’s] price today. I’m going to only say that it’ll be expensive. I’m aware that with all these technologies, the PS3 can’t be offered at a price that’s targeted towards households.”

    If they’re not targeting households, who are they targeting?

  7. If it has a price tag of $500 or less, I’m going to buy that PS3 with no qualms. XBox 360 can go to hell. Has anyone else seen the preview of the off-road game coming to the PS3? OMG! “It’s amazing” is an understatement.

    The lesser of two evils: Sony.

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