PS3 delayed?

Looks like you might have to change those Japanese flight tickets – there’s speculation that the third incarnation of the PlayStation might be delayed

Looks like you might have to change those Japanese flight tickets – there’s speculation that the third incarnation of the PlayStation might be delayed by six months or more.

Barely a hop and a skip after we predicted a November UK launch for the PS3, the web is alive with rumours that the super-console might be delayed – although Sony Computer Entertainment was quick to quell the rising panic. The official line is something like: “We will launch the PS3 right about when we launch it, which we hope will be Spring 2006, but might not be.”

So what’s caused this last-minute broo-hah? It’s the hardware specifications. Marketing types created a specification for the PS3 that reads like a gaming geek’s custom Happy Meal, but it seems that the engineers are struggling to install components that don’t really exist yet. Top of the list: Blu-Ray, the high-definition disc format that is set to take over from DVD – if it can ever be manufactured in high enough quantities.

Fortunately, we know the answer: you need a Stanley No.2 quantum screwdriver and two-pot, quick-setting Dark Matter. But Dark Matter ain’t cheap – which could explain further shareholder-scaring rumours that initial production costs for the PS3 will be about $900 per unit.

That cost will inevitably come down once Sony re-purposes Aibo (R.I.P.) to make PS3s, but it gives it some difficult sums to do if they are to sell to the teenage, paper-round market that butters their bread.

So what does this all boil down to? That the PS3 might be late, and that there won’t be any accountants at the launch party. But you can bet your ass that Sony is trying desperately to get the PS3 out before the Japanese summer holidays in July; before the Christmas holidays in the US; and before riots break out in Europe.

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