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Namco Bandai: PS3 spring launch "impossible"

Namco Bandai's president echoes analyst chorus, telling Bloomberg News that there's no way Sony's next-gen console will make its current release window.

Even though Sony has admitted that a delay is "possible", the PlayStation 3 still has the same "spring" launch window it got at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in 2005. However, the current consensus among analysts is that the next-generation console will not make its maker's self-imposed, semi-vague deadline. Last month, a Merrill Lynch report predicted a six- to 12-month delay for the PS3. Just yesterday, a note from Friedman Billings Ramsey said that the system may not come out in the US until 2007.

For their part, Japanese game publishers, which are already spending hundreds of millions of yen on PS3 development, have remained universally mum. However, that wall of silence crumbled this week, thanks to comments from Takeo Takasu, president of the game and toy giant Namco Bandai Holdings.

"Without any announcements so far, the spring release is impossible," Takasu said in an interview with Bloomberg Japan yesterday. "We are developing titles for PlayStation 3, but the release of the games depends on the timing of the hardware."

Takasu's comments echoes the statements made last month by Enterbrain president Hirokazu Hamamura. Talking with Sankei Web, the man behind Japan's top-selling Famitsu magazine said that it would be difficult for Sony to launch the PS3 in May unless it has already started taking orders for the system.

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