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View Full Version : Launch of Sony’s PlayStation 3 could be delayed


Adept Havelock
02-21-2006, 07:11 PM
An almost $900 manufacturing cost/console? What the hell will they have to charge per unit? Anybody remember the vaunted all-in-one 3D0? This could be it's reincarnation, IMO.

Launch of Sony’s PlayStation 3 could be delayed
Next-generation video game console must meet certain industry provisions

Reuters
Updated: 9:35 a.m. ET Feb. 20, 2006


TOKYO - Sony Corp.’s launch of its next-generation PlayStation 3 video game console could be delayed if industry specifications for some of its technology are not finalized soon, although it is still aiming for a spring rollout, it said on Monday.

The launch of PlayStation 3 (PS3) has been the subject of heavy speculation in the industry as expectations are high for the powerful machine, which will feature cutting-edge technology in its DVD player, processors and graphics.

PS3 will be competing with Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360, which went on sale last November, and Nintendo Co. Ltd.’s Revolution, which is expected later this year.

“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 DVD drive and to input and output video and sound.

The specifications are decided by industry consortiums.

“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.

Sony has been promising a spring launch but has been deliberately vague about exactly when that would be. Analysts have said it could mean anytime between March and the end of Japan’s rainy season in June.

Sony’s shares fell as much as 4.4 percent on Monday after Merrill Lynch said in a research note last week that the PS3’s launch might be delayed by six to 12 months and the cost of production could initially approach $900 per unit.

The shares closed down 3.6 percent at 5,300 yen, underperforming the Tokyo stock market’s electrical machinery index IELEC, which fell 1.85 percent.

Manufacturers typically sell new game consoles at a loss initially to gain market share so they can later make money by selling software -- a $25 billion global market.

But the higher-than-expected cost estimate by Merrill means Sony will have to take a much larger loss on each PS3 unit it sells or sacrifice market share to Microsoft, which is selling its Xbox 360 for about $400.

Sony currently has about 70 percent of the global market for game consoles, but some analysts have said it could lose as much as 20 percentage points to Microsoft, which is making an aggressive push to increase its 15 percent share.

Nintendo, which also has a 15 percent market share, is taking a different strategy as it aims to increase the number of game players with a unique console and original games.

Merrill Lynch also downgraded its rating on Sony to “sell” from “neutral,” saying in its note that Sony could see its earnings decline in the business year from April.

Most analysts took the report in stride as they already expected Sony to launch the PS3 this summer in Japan, followed by a U.S. launch before the Thanksgiving holiday in November. They expect a launch in Europe in early 2007.

“No one is seriously thinking a spring release is realistic any more,” said Hiroshi Kamide, an analyst at KBC Securities. “If I were Sony, I wouldn’t be that worried about releasing as soon as I possibly could.”


Kamide said Sony may wait until it is fully prepared, especially after seeing slow initial sales of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 even though it was launched in time for the holidays.

Having led the worldwide console gaming market for the last decade, Sony is counting on the new machine to dominate in all aspects of networked home entertainment -- games, movies, music and more.

Yuta Sakurai, a senior analyst at Nomura Securities, said the price of the PS3 was more important than its timing.

“I don’t think it matters when Sony launches in the U.S. as long as it’s in time for Christmas,” Sakurai said. He expects Sony to try to launch the PS3 in Japan in early summer, in time for the big selling season when schools go on holiday in July.

Sakurai estimated that Sony could charge at most 50,000 yen ($420) for the console.

Retail price estimates by analysts in Japan vary widely from about 40,000 yen to several times that much, primarily because of all of the technology that is packed into the machine, which is expected to be the size of a laptop computer.

The PS3, which can be played simultaneously by up to seven people, will be powered by the “Cell” chip, which is significantly more powerful than Intel Corp.’s Pentium 4, the most common chip for today’s PCs and existing game machine processors.

It will also feature a super-powerful graphics chip, a built-in Ethernet port for high-speed Internet access, and Blu-ray, a next-generation DVD format backed by Sony.

Analysts generally agree that Sony will do whatever it can to avoid missing the key year-end holiday season this year, but many believe it will be unable to make the PS3 in great volumes.

Game development for the PS3 is also seen being delayed because the technology specifications have not been finalized.

“Game makers are developing games according to their guesses on what the final specifications might be,” said Takeshi Tajima, a BNP Paribas analyst.

Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters.

© 2006 MSNBC.com

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11458047/

Valiant
02-22-2006, 02:11 AM
Hell, not to say this is old news but everyone knew sony was going to push it back. They keep cutting partners to lower the cost. That is why them and nvidia are going at it, and rumored to already split on the console processor...

They did a feature on sony on nightline or something like that talking about how their world market value has been dropping recently, mostly to them over expanding and ipod killing them on gadgets...

Hopefully they will figure out how to back their specs and keep cost low on the ps3...

Lzen
02-22-2006, 10:53 AM
Looks like I won't be getting a PS3 until at least 1 year from now. $400 for a console is kind of high, but I'll get one. Assuming, of course, that it is all that they say it is.

htismaqe
02-22-2006, 11:54 AM
This made up my mind. I'm getting a 360.

Saulbadguy
02-22-2006, 01:35 PM
They could easily sell them at a loss, IMO. Not a $500 loss though.

htismaqe
02-22-2006, 01:54 PM
They could easily sell them at a loss, IMO. Not a $500 loss though.

That's the key. I don't remember a console that was sold for even, let alone a profit.

The profits come from the games, not the hardware.

It's a question of how much of a loss they can afford to take. Assuming the $900 is accurate, and they plan on price-competing with Microsoft, we're talking about a FIFTY SIX PERCENT loss. No way will Sony be able to do that.

Mecca
02-22-2006, 01:58 PM
Sony went so overboard they hosed themselves. They can't charge 200 more dollars than Microsoft if they do, no one will buy one.

morphius
02-22-2006, 02:19 PM
Take the time to get it right, they know that if they screw up they could be in big trouble. Plus they have to do it right because they know MS is trying to move into people's living room, so its bigger to them with all of their other equipment in there to hold MS down.

Plus the fact that you are going to have to buy a $200 add-on for HD-DVD to work on the 360, and so this price over run isn't a surprise.

htismaqe
02-22-2006, 02:32 PM
Take the time to get it right, they know that if they screw up they could be in big trouble. Plus they have to do it right because they know MS is trying to move into people's living room, so its bigger to them with all of their other equipment in there to hold MS down.

Plus the fact that you are going to have to buy a $200 add-on for HD-DVD to work on the 360, and so this price over run isn't a surprise.

The $200 HD-DVD add-on isn't that big of a deal.

1) If you're gonna use the 360 to play games, HD-DVD is not required. The games themselves will never use it.

2) HD-DVD for movies is quite a ways off yet. They can already put pan-and-scan, widescreen, alternate ending, and useless commentary on one DVD. What more does one need?

morphius
02-22-2006, 03:10 PM
The $200 HD-DVD add-on isn't that big of a deal.

1) If you're gonna use the 360 to play games, HD-DVD is not required. The games themselves will never use it.

2) HD-DVD for movies is quite a ways off yet. They can already put pan-and-scan, widescreen, alternate ending, and useless commentary on one DVD. What more does one need?
I think with the upcoming battle, the HD DVD's will be out in full force pretty quickly.

htismaqe
02-22-2006, 03:17 PM
I think with the upcoming battle, the HD DVD's will be out in full force pretty quickly.

Yeah, I guess I didn't mean that there wouldn't be any. I'm sure we'll start seeing HD-DVD movies about the same time Sony releases the PS3 -- the showdown will begin.

I just think it will be more like HDTV.

It's going to be a LONG time before you NEED the HD-DVD drive, because there's still going to be regular DVD's. Until the new tech (BluRay or HD-DVD) offers something that consumers need, or until they stop making existing DVD's, the whole BluRay vs. HD-DVD is moot.

Baby Lee
02-22-2006, 03:22 PM
The $200 HD-DVD add-on isn't that big of a deal.

1) If you're gonna use the 360 to play games, HD-DVD is not required. The games themselves will never use it.

2) HD-DVD for movies is quite a ways off yet. They can already put pan-and-scan, widescreen, alternate ending, and useless commentary on one DVD. What more does one need?
Umm, and I'm just spitballing here, HD? You know 1080i, 720p, 1080p, 20fps, 40fps, 60fps?

htismaqe
02-22-2006, 03:27 PM
Umm, and I'm just spitballing here, HD? You know 1080i, 720p, 1080p, 20fps, 40fps, 60fps?

Yes, HD DVD (or BluRay) is required to watch HD content.

However, last time I checked, HD content is not required to WATCH TV OR MOVIES.

That's the rub - the good majority of the poplace won't give a shit about HD DVD or BluRay until they HAVE TO HAVE IT to watch a movie.

If it's adopted at the rate HD TV has been, it will be a decade before the Microsoft $200 add-on drive is needed enough to be worth the expenditure.

Baby Lee
02-22-2006, 03:40 PM
Yes, HD DVD (or BluRay) is required to watch HD content.

However, last time I checked, HD content is not required to WATCH TV OR MOVIES.

That's the rub - the good majority of the poplace won't give a shit about HD DVD or BluRay until they HAVE TO HAVE IT to watch a movie.

If it's adopted at the rate HD TV has been, it will be a decade before the Microsoft $200 add-on drive is needed enough to be worth the expenditure.
Tell the truth, you've converted your music collection to MP3, right?

;)

htismaqe
02-22-2006, 03:42 PM
Tell the truth, you've converted your music collection to MP3, right?

;)

Actually, I haven't.

I admit it - I still buy CD's. ROFL

AlbinoGuerilla
02-22-2006, 04:24 PM
man i bought a 360 but returned it after it only played in black and white, i think they can sell the PS3 at whatever price they want look at how many people paid extra for the 360

htismaqe
02-22-2006, 04:28 PM
man i bought a 360 but returned it after it only played in black and white, i think they can sell the PS3 at whatever price they want look at how many people paid extra for the 360

There is ZERO chance that people are going to pay > $600 for PS3, no matter how great Sony says it is.