It's Official: No PS3 Until November

Sony confirmed Wednesday reports that it will delay the launch of its highly anticipated PlayStation 3 console until November. At that time, the company will launch the product simultaneously in Japan, Europe and the United States, Sony officials said.

However, Sony will be facing availability issues that Microsoft will likely have resolved with the Xbox 360 by the holidays, analysts say.

Sony says at launch, PS3 consoles would be produced at the rate of one million per month. Thus, the number of available units for the Christmas season may number less than one million per market, with wide-scale availability not occurring until well into 2007.

Sony's failure to get the console into consumers' hands by its expected spring 2006 launch date has a lot to do with its Blu-ray drive, according to the Nikkei Keizai business daily. At issue is the copy protection technology used within the drive.

The PS3's Blu-ray issues also throw a wrench into Sony's plans to offer an inexpensive next-generation DVD player. The company is locked in a fierce battle with Toshiba and HD DVD, who will have players out this month, and an HD DVD player for Xbox 360 is expected later in the year.

In a statement, Sony would not specifically confirm Blu-ray as being the problem, only lauding the format's specifications and saying "SCEI, together with the support and cooperation of game content creators around the world, will strongly promote the creation of a new world of computer entertainment available on PS3."

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