Sony admits PS3 could be delayed

A spokeswoman for the company says they hope to release PS3 in Spring, but waiting for Blu-ray and A/V specs could force a delay.

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For the first time, an official statement from Sony has acknowledged the possibility that the PS3 won’t meet the Spring 2006 launch deadline that the company set last May. They’ve been keeping quiet on the issue, but pretty much everyone who’s paying attention (from PS3week all the way up to Merrill Lynch) has been predicting a delay for months.

The latest news is that Sony’s stock is tumbling after a downgrade from Merrill Lynch, which says the PS3 will cost $800 to manufacture and might not make it to the market this year.

This has finally broken Sony’s silence on the PS3’s development schedule. From Reuters:

“We’re aiming for spring, but we haven’t announced specific regions,” a spokeswoman for Sony Computer Entertainment said, adding that it was waiting for the final specifications on some of the technology it is using in the PS3, such as that related to the Blu-ray drive and to input and output video and sound. …

“We’re waiting for them until the last possible minute, but the launch could be pushed back if they’re not decided soon,” the spokeswoman said. If the PS3 is not ready in time, the company will choose the next best timing for the launch, she said.

Sure… blame it all on Blu-ray! If that’s the real reason that PS3 could be delayed for months, it is certainly a sweet bit of irony that Sony’s biggest cash cow (royalties from Blu-ray discs) is also its biggest obstacle in getting the PS3 out on time.

In fact, the main reason Sony needs to get PS3 on American shelves soon is to enter the high-definition DVD market. PS3 will be the most affordable Blu-ray player, and Sony needs those players in homes as soon as possible to compete with Toshiba’s HD-DVD, which will be out soon (and can be attached to Xbox 360).

So Blu-ray’s the reason Sony needs to rush, and it may also be the main reason they can’t make it on time. Talk about trouble.

Sony aims for spring launch of PS3 but could delay [Reuters]

EARLIER: The lowdown on Blu-ray and the PS3.

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