PS3 Launch Scaled Back, Delayed in Europe

September 6, 2006

PS3The PlayStation 3’s global launch suffered another setback this morning, as further delays and reduced North American allocations of the popular game console were announced by Sony corporate in Japan. Sony’s Ken Kutaragi stated the European launch of the PS3 will be delayed until March 2007, Kutaragi went on to say:

“We decided to focus on the Japanese and U.S. markets,” he said at the gaming unit’s Tokyo headquarters. “I am so sorry not to be able to answer to all the expectations.”

But the news doesn’t get much better for U.S. PlayStation fans looking forward to November 17th and the North American launch of the PS3. Kutaragi went on to say 400,000 PlayStation 3 machines will be available when they go on sale Nov. 17 and about 100,000 PS3’s will be available on November 11th for Japan’s launch date.

This is obviously considerably less than the 2 million units estimated for launch by the holidays 2006, 1.5 million less to be exact; it now seems as if those earlier predictions of two million units at launch were a pipedream. To be honest it’s become a bit cumbersome just keeping up with all the revisions, delays and setbacks associated with the PS3’s launch.

I suppose this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, given the fact that as of August 18th the PS3 hadn’t even entered into production. But I can’t help but think back to comments made by Fox Home Entertainment’s Worldwide President, Mike Dunn on July 28th of this year, where he predicted:

“The penetration of Blu-ray is going to be in the millions of households by early 2007, compared to less than 100,000 households for HD DVD. And, it will penetrate faster than DVD did — going from zero to 10 million households like a rocket. Once the delta between the two formats begins to widen like that early on, it becomes a Blu-ray no-brainer for the consumer.”

I suppose Mr. Dunn’s prediction of millions of Blu-ray capable devices in homes by 2007, appears to be in danger. This paints a rather bleak outlook for Blu-ray capable devices in 2006 at least in any significant numbers, as Sony suspended shipments of blue laser diodes to other customers to guarantee enough on-hand quantities for the PS3.

Now that those PS3 numbers have been scaled back or delayed altogether until 2007, it’s anyone’s guess as to how many Blu-ray players other companies will be able to ship before the holidays. It appears as if Sony’s trojan horse Blu-ray player will arrive with a whimper in 2006 instead of the bang many had predicted.



Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under Blu-ray


Comments

  • cgw

    I just found out that Xbox 360 initially sold 326,000 units in US in November, and only 103,990 units until April 2006. This might be the reason that Sony comes with the allocation, 400,000 for US and 100,000 for Japan. Here is the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xbox_360_launch. I can’t find any Xbox 360 in stock either at local Wal-Mart or Best Buy until March of this year. Will movie studios reevaluate their BD release plans? No wonder no Cars or Pirate releases this year.

  • cgw

    I just found out that Xbox 360 initially sold 326,000 units in US in November, and only 103,990 units until April 2006. This might be the reason that Sony comes with the allocation, 400,000 for US and 100,000 for Japan. Here is the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xbox_360_launch. I can’t find any Xbox 360 in stock either at local Wal-Mart or Best Buy until March of this year. Will movie studios reevaluate their BD release plans? No wonder no Cars or Pirate releases this year.

  • Adam Griffith

    Oh, and I forgot about the 360 Add-on! Something like 5 million 360s will have been sold by this Christmas. That’s a lot of potential HD DVD add-on buyers! And even though I agree that gamers buy the system for games – it looks like the small percentage of owners that do buy it will easily eclipse the amount of PS3 owners doing BD movie related stuff.

  • Adam Griffith

    Oh, and I forgot about the 360 Add-on! Something like 5 million 360s will have been sold by this Christmas. That’s a lot of potential HD DVD add-on buyers! And even though I agree that gamers buy the system for games – it looks like the small percentage of owners that do buy it will easily eclipse the amount of PS3 owners doing BD movie related stuff.

  • Adam Griffith

    Wow, there you have it. I feel sorry for all of Sony’s business partners. Think about the game developers alone who were promised great sales for the holiday season and rushed to make exclusives for Sony over the competition. In hindsight – many of those companies would have been better off making said games for the 360.

    Wiis and 360s will be flooding the shelves come this holiday – with millions of gamers desperate and tired of waiting to get their next-gen fix – where do you think they’ll turn?

    People will have either a Wii or a 360 or both – with more, better games on each – and will be content to spend their money on them alone while Sony bubbles around unable to fill mass demand for another entire year.

    And where is Toshiba – right on track. The “soft launch” was successful, they’ve sold 50,000 players already and everythings good to go for the new year: See this thread/article: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=718697

    And the above only talks about the HD-A1 and HD-XA1 players. This says nothing of the RCA players that have been sold through major retailers like Walmart and of the new European Toshiba players being launched before the PS3, or if companies like Lite-On introduce their HD DVD player in 2006 (and signs seem to be pointing to the fact they will). It’s rumored Denon or another company is coming out with a player also and that we’ll see another under $1000 HD DVD player on the market this fall as well (though that might be the Lite-On).

    Anyway, this is all amazing news. I never would have imagined it. Hopefully, the competition from Sony exists enough to spur HD-DVD on in getting better and better than the mind-blowing product/value it already is – doing so over the course of the next 6-8 months – but then by that time, the tide will have effectively turned almost completely and we’ll have one HD format for life that we can love, support, and depend on without having to think about the war ever again.

    BD can live on as the media of the PS3 and as a PC storage solution. Sony will have yet another wake-up call regarding their arrogance and at the end of the day – the consumer will win becuase we’ve forced them to change.

    All signs point to this not being too much of an exagerrated prediction! Here’s hoping…*prays*

  • Adam Griffith

    Wow, there you have it. I feel sorry for all of Sony’s business partners. Think about the game developers alone who were promised great sales for the holiday season and rushed to make exclusives for Sony over the competition. In hindsight – many of those companies would have been better off making said games for the 360.

    Wiis and 360s will be flooding the shelves come this holiday – with millions of gamers desperate and tired of waiting to get their next-gen fix – where do you think they’ll turn?

    People will have either a Wii or a 360 or both – with more, better games on each – and will be content to spend their money on them alone while Sony bubbles around unable to fill mass demand for another entire year.

    And where is Toshiba – right on track. The “soft launch” was successful, they’ve sold 50,000 players already and everythings good to go for the new year: See this thread/article: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=718697

    And the above only talks about the HD-A1 and HD-XA1 players. This says nothing of the RCA players that have been sold through major retailers like Walmart and of the new European Toshiba players being launched before the PS3, or if companies like Lite-On introduce their HD DVD player in 2006 (and signs seem to be pointing to the fact they will). It’s rumored Denon or another company is coming out with a player also and that we’ll see another under $1000 HD DVD player on the market this fall as well (though that might be the Lite-On).

    Anyway, this is all amazing news. I never would have imagined it. Hopefully, the competition from Sony exists enough to spur HD-DVD on in getting better and better than the mind-blowing product/value it already is – doing so over the course of the next 6-8 months – but then by that time, the tide will have effectively turned almost completely and we’ll have one HD format for life that we can love, support, and depend on without having to think about the war ever again.

    BD can live on as the media of the PS3 and as a PC storage solution. Sony will have yet another wake-up call regarding their arrogance and at the end of the day – the consumer will win becuase we’ve forced them to change.

    All signs point to this not being too much of an exagerrated prediction! Here’s hoping…*prays*

  • cgw

    The 500,000 number should be the upper limit, and Sony would be lucky if they can hit the number. Bill Hunt mentioned PS3 was tested vigorously on quality issues. How about these 500,000 players? They better keep their fingers crossed on the production line.

    Also, more interestingly, the importance of Japan’s domestic market seems to drop, at least in Sony’s eyes.

  • cgw

    The 500,000 number should be the upper limit, and Sony would be lucky if they can hit the number. Bill Hunt mentioned PS3 was tested vigorously on quality issues. How about these 500,000 players? They better keep their fingers crossed on the production line.

    Also, more interestingly, the importance of Japan’s domestic market seems to drop, at least in Sony’s eyes.

  • westcott

    I lost all high expectations for Sony in this format war. They have done just about everything you can do wrong to launch a product and if it were any other company, they would be out of business by now.

    The PS3 was their ace in the hole but further delays only raise suspicion as to the reasons. Most would assume technical difficulties that HD DVD seems to have evaded.

    Now, if all the studios would publicly support HD DVD, it would be a no brainer at this junction which player to buy.

  • westcott

    I lost all high expectations for Sony in this format war. They have done just about everything you can do wrong to launch a product and if it were any other company, they would be out of business by now.

    The PS3 was their ace in the hole but further delays only raise suspicion as to the reasons. Most would assume technical difficulties that HD DVD seems to have evaded.

    Now, if all the studios would publicly support HD DVD, it would be a no brainer at this junction which player to buy.