Will Sony PlayStation 3 Consoles Arrive on Time?

Posted on October 23, 2006

Concerns are being raised about when Sony's PlayStation 3 players will arrive and just how many of them will arrive. A shortage was already considered likely but a news story from Bloomberg suggests that Sony could miss its already planned targets. The first of Sony's PS3 delivery targets is November 17th.

Sony plans to ship two million PlayStation 3 players this year to the U.S. and Japan, and six million worldwide by March. The Tokyo-based company said yesterday annual profit would fall 35 percent to its lowest in five years on price cuts of the console in Japan and a recall of 9.6 million computer batteries.

"The honest answer is it's more of a target" for PlayStation 3 shipments, Jack Tretton, co-chairman of Sony Computer Entertainment America, said yesterday in an interview. "Clearly we've had production issues."

A shortage of the PlayStation 3 would give Microsoft Corp. and Nintendo Co. a bigger head start in the $20 billion console market when they sell their players next month in time for the year's biggest sales season. Sony cut the price of the PS3 in Japan after consumers complained it was too expensive compared with Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo's Wii.

"It would be a big hill to climb with a console that costs twice as much," said John Broady, an analyst for GameSpot.com, a unit of Cnet Networks Entertainment that tracks video-game sales. "A lot of this is driven by mothers. When they look at their budget, I think the Wii is going to be very attractive."

A New York Times article gives the game system a great review but notes that many parents looking for a console for their kids will be dissapointed.

And then there's the fact that it will be all but impossible for normal, everyday consumers to actually find a PlayStation 3 for sale this holiday season. Sony will be able to deliver only 400,000 copies of the machine to North America at first, and those will almost certainly sell out within hours, even though the top version of the PS3 will cost a mighty $600 before you even buy any games. (There are going to be a lot of angst-ridden parents and frustrated kids out there this year.)

There are also many articles, like this ABC News story focusing on the high price of the Sony PlayStation 3 but the real issue here is that many people will probably not be able to own one until 2007.

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