Sony denies Merrill Lynch report- no delay for PlayStation 3
Posted by Dan Bell on 20 February 2006 - 05:15 - Source: Bloomberg
Well, that didn't take long! Sony says that Merril Lynch is full of bull! We just read yesterday a report from the analyst firm that said Sony would have to delay the gaming platform, but today, Bloomberg is reporting that Sony shot back.
"There is no change in our original plan to release the console in spring 2006'' in Japan, said Kei Sakaguchi, a Sony spokesman in Tokyo. Sony may start selling the PlayStation 3 in Japan in autumn and by late 2006 or early 2007 in the U.S., Merrill Lynch's Joe Osha said in a report dated Feb. 17.
Any delay would give rivals Microsoft Corp. and Nintendo Co. more time to win market share with their new consoles leading up to the Christmas shopping season. Sony, which is adding its Blu- ray high-definition DVD format and the faster Cell chip to the PS3, is facing about $900 in costs to make the device, more than double the retail price of Microsoft's Xbox 360 game console, Merrill said.
Interestingly, we can read in the article that Microsoft is taking a pretty good hit on each Xbox 360 sold, about $153 dollars US. We can only imagine the loss Sony will have to take in order to move the PS3 when it sets next to the Xbox at $299 0r $399, depending on configuration. The PS3 cannot price itself too high against the Microsoft offering and still expect to take market share. Sure, it may play Blu-ray discs, but who has a compliant palyback device? The AACS specs for hardware playback are enough to confuse an electrical engineer! By the way, you have to chuckle at the AACS motto "Share the vision". How can you share something if you can't even see the darn thing to begin with?
Hopefully all goes well and the cost isn`t to high:
David Reeves, head of Sony's European PlayStation operation, has this week insisted that production of PlayStation 3 is "on track". He also suggested that the machine's European and U.S launches could be closer to one another than many observers have hitherto predicted.
Speaking to European trade newspaper MCV, Reeves said, "There are so many rumors out there but no-one really knows the facts. I know what's going to happen and I am honestly very, very confident about it."
He spoke about the timing of PS3's European launch. "It is my job to match day and date with the U.S launch," he said. "I am doing my very best to make that happen." This is interesting in that most observers believe the European launch will come some time after the U.S launch. Sony has traditionally waited on Europe, and Microsoft's recent experience won't have persuaded the firm of the merits of simultaneous roll-out.
Reeves also talked about the fight with Xbox 360. "Most of the first million people who buy an Xbox 360 in PAL territories will also buy a PS3," he predicted.
Despite this positive outlook from Reeves, it's still highly unlikely that PS3 will launch any time soon. Our best guess is that an announcement will be made in the near future outlining the company's overall strategy in detail - games, Blu-ray, online, manufacturing - with a promise to deliver a launch some time this year. It may be that there are still too many unknowns for Sony to give a firm release date or detailed territory-by-territory plans.
Reports are suggesting that Sony's suppliers, such as Compeq in Taiwan, have scheduled component manufacturing plans for June, which would suggest a late 2006 launch. But a hardware launch, especially one this complicated, hinges on more than having a few components ready and waiting in a bucket.