Among my friends who are into the gaming hobby, we have already started counting down towards the November release of the next generation consoles from both Sony and Nintendo – the PlayStation 3 and the Wii. Even though we still do not know the exact launch titles we will be buying we are still very excited that on “d-day” we will be able to get our sweat little hands on these new-fangled contraptions.So it came as quite as a surprise (in a very bad way) the recent announcement of Sony that it will be delaying the launch of the Playstation 3 from its scheduled November 2006 release to March 2007! That is a setback of almost five months! This has really alarmed me because Ken Kutaragi, the head of Sony’s game division, in interviews prior to the announcement was quite emphatic in saying that the production cycle of the PlayStation 3 is quite sufficient to meet the November global release date. Take note of this, this is going to have been released simultaneously in Asia, North America and Europe – quite a feat for any company.
Kutaragi has explained that the production of the blue laser, a vital component in the PlayStation 3 had fallen behind schedule. The delay really puts the PlayStation at a disadvantage when compared to the Xbox 360 and the Wii. We will see if this tactical debacle will really cost Sony dearly in terms of the competition and in the battle for market share in the very lucrative but also very competitive console gaming industry.