Sony delays PS3 launch to November

Company confirms that it's pushing back the worldwide release date for the game console.

If you've been waiting anxiously for Sony's PlayStation 3, get ready to wait a little longer.

Sony on Wednesday confirmed that it's pushing back the worldwide release date for the game console to early November. The company cited delays in finalizing copyright-protection specifications in the Blu-ray standard, which will be the underlying high-definition DVD format for the PS3.

The PS3 had been scheduled to debut this spring. The company is aiming to release the console simultaneously in the U.S., Europe and Japan.


PlayStation maker is finally
watching its rivals and
responding accordingly.

Rival Microsoft launched its next-generation Xbox 360 device in November 2005. The PS3 postponement would be a second black mark for Sony, which also faces much higher component costs.

Even with the delay, Sony hopes to ship 6 million units around the globe by the end of the year, Ken Kutaragi, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, said at a press briefing in Tokyo. The company plans to bolster its manufacturing capacity so that it can produce 1 million units per month, he said.

Kutaragi also said that the new PlayStation will have a 2.5-inch 60GB hard drive and will run the Linux operating system.

For game software, the company plans to release titles in the Blu-ray disc format. By producing up to 10 million copies a month, it expects to keep manufacturing costs as low as with current double-layer DVD-ROMs.

Sony also plans to launch a PlayStation Network Platform, an online service, around the time of the PS3 debut. The service is expected to compete with Microsoft's Xbox Live.

Sony is a leader in the game console arena with more than 100 million PlayStation 2s sold worldwide.

Blu-ray is a critical technology for Sony, not only for differentiating the PS3 from the Xbox 360 and Nintendo's Revolution, but also in a DVD standards battle. In that arena, it is up against the HD DVD format being backed by Toshiba.

Michiko Nagai of CNET Japan reported from Tokyo.

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