PlayStation 3 delayed, unlikely to matter | iLounge Backstage

Backstage

PlayStation 3 delayed, unlikely to matter

Author's pic

By Jeremy Horwitz

Editor-in-Chief, iLounge
Published: Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Backstage Categories:

So, the news out of Japan this morning is pretty much what sophisticated analysts and game players were expecting for months: contrary to Sony’s numerous promises, the PlayStation 3 (PS3) won’t be released in Spring 2006 after all. Now the company’s planning a November 2006 release - a full year after Microsoft’s much-discussed launch of the Xbox 360.

That’s right: a full year. In the right console maker’s hands, lots can happen in a year - a big sales lead can be built up over your competitors, you can ready stellar second-generation games, and you can make real efforts at convincing the media that anything that comes later is irrelevant. But let’s be realistic here: we’re talking about Microsoft. By mid-2006, the company’s likely to have sold around 5 million total Xbox 360s, which is a nice start, but frankly one that Sony could easily catch up to - at the right price, and assuming it has enough PS3 consoles ready to meet expected demand. Click on Read More for the details.

The stories right now claim that Sony is currently manufacturing a million PlayStation 3s a month in anticipation of a global November rollout; if accurate, that means 7 or 8 million machines could be ready on launch day. To step back for a moment, that’s 7 or 8 million Blu-Ray Disc-playing, undeniably-most-powerful (by at least a little) game consoles. True, these special features mightn’t matter in the end. In fact, they’re directly to blame for the system’s delays - Blu-Ray copyright protection is still being finalized, claims Sony - and there’s considerable debate over their value to developers relative to the Xbox 360’s more familiar design.

But in our view, many consumers think these features are worth waiting for, and because of that, Sony has a much better chance of actually selling every one of its machines than Microsoft did, even assuming its price is higher than some may hope. Unlike Microsoft, which could barely conjure interest in Japan despite aggressive promotional efforts, Sony will eat that country alive - and certainly create sell-out lines at virtually every store across the United States and Europe, as well. Thus, in a single day, Sony could conceivably match or exceed Xbox 360’s entire global installed base, mooting Microsoft’s year lead.

How realistic is this? Well, it assumes a lot. Microsoft will have to seriously squander 2006, which it has previously demonstrated is more than possible from both hardware and software standpoints. Sony will need to hit a reasonable price, though the exact number is subject to some debate given that Microsoft has demonstrated that at least some people are willing to shell out up to $400 to be first to own a new game console. And, of course, Sony will need to actually have the supplies on hand in November to make this happen. So many launches these days are being ruined (read: people unable to buy at set price) by manufacturing difficulties, and PS3’s at least as likely to suffer from this as anything else. If Sony drops the ball and misses its new date, that’s bad news.

What doesn’t Sony need? If history’s a guide, excellent exclusive launch software. Almost every console launch depends on this, but Sony has proved almost immune to this particular need because people are willing to believe - rightfully, as it turns out - that good games will eventually appear on a PlayStation. They’re even willing to stand in line for the machines (PS2, PSP) even when their first six months of releases don’t look so exciting. If Sony can actually deliver three or four wicked-looking titles for launch, and an aggressive price tag? Absolute mayhem.

Last year really wasn’t good for Sony. It screwed up in many ways that have been well-documented at this point, losing the MP3 player market to Apple, falling behind in the handheld market to the Nintendo DS (!), and coming across as generally incapable of enunciating its vision going forward. But based on this ambitious agenda - coupled with the news that Sony will be selling Internet-downloadable PlayStation 1 games that will run on the PlayStation Portable (PSP), and plans both handheld video-conferencing and limited GPS support for that device - it looks like there may be reason to get excited about the company again. Readers, what do you think?

« Nintendo DS Lite arrives, dazzles with iPod-like redesign

Ten-Foot Experience, Two-Inch Screens? »

Related Stories

Comments

1

That’s the one area where Sony has done right. I mean, I’m AT BEST a casual gamer and I’ve got both prevoius Playstations and will buy this one when it arrives.

Posted by Tenchi211 in California on March 15, 2006 at 1:33 AM (PDT)

2

Normally I’m all for taking an anti-Microsoft stance on an issue, but it ain’t the case this time…  In fact, I’ve got an Xbox 360 sitting on my desk right now.  Me, Mister Google/Mozilla/Apple-must-dethrone-the-Beast.  All things considered, I believe Microsoft has, for once, done something right with the Xbox.  All signs point to Sony doing those same things wrong.

First of all, delay delay delay.  Bluray could be a great format, but Sony may have wrecked PS3’s chances at competition by tying it so closely to the format.  Besides, we’re still not sure if Bluray will come out as the dominant format or not, so who’s gonna throw the cash down for such an unsure piece of equipment?  Most Bluray players are expected to be, what, $800-900 to start?  So even at $600, Sony may well be taking a loss.  There’s zero chance to see a $400 price tag.

Bah, I’m not in a ranting mood.  I’m gonna go play Halo.

- Thom, yes now apparently a Microsombie.

Posted by Thom on March 15, 2006 at 1:36 AM (PDT)

3

Sony has apparently confirmed that the price will be around or about 50,000 yen in Japan, which points to a $399-$429 U.S. price point, similar to X360. It looks like there will be no shortage of people (well, at least the first 5-6 million worldwide) who are willing to pay this price, even if Microsoft drops its own price in the meanwhile.

Re: Microsoft, I was there at launch for X360 and have had a total of two consoles. They’ve both been sold (the second as of yesterday). There isn’t any software coming in the near future that I’m excited about (did the whole RR6, DOA4, PDZ thing), but I will get another machine if/when the price drops and/or they can make it run quieter than the current one.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz in East Amherst, NY, USA on March 15, 2006 at 1:43 AM (PDT)

4

Please update me when the arrival date is and the price of the ps3

Posted by tye morrison on March 15, 2006 at 1:43 AM (PDT)

5

This whole situation is sad. Sony is full of lies and knew that the console was going to be delayed…yet still told the public that there was ‘a chance’ that the PS3 was coming out in the Spring. Those Japs pulled a good strategy against us, but they will not succeed because they will have barely any titles at launch, just as all consoles do when they start out.

Another problem with this BS Hype is that Sony’s console is ‘sooo powerful’. I’m sick of hearing this because there isn’t much difference between the speeds of both of the consoles. Yes there is a large processing power difference between the x360 and ps3, but the problem lies within the memory in the ps3, there is a bottleneck that occurs and slows the processor down, which basically leaves it to the GPU, and both GPU’s are incredibly fast.

What it comes down to is the developer capabilities, because both consoles are capable of amazing things. It’s up to developers to create the games that even use the power in both machines, and to hype one over the other based on POWER alone is just ridiculous because we all know that POWER was Xbox’s failure on it’s initiation into the console wars because it’s hardware is far better than the PS2.

I’ll probably end up buying an X360 at the end of the year.
Here are the reasons:
1. PS3 will be very expensive
2. PS3 will have very limited launch titles
3. X360 will lower their price
4. Halo 3 will probably be out by then
5. I will to be patriotic

Posted by Grant on March 15, 2006 at 3:22 AM (PDT)

6

it’s nice to see Sony actually realising the potential of their hardware. A 60GB HDD on launch with PS3? great. VoIP/Video Phone on PSP. Awesome. Free basic online service?Even better. Point is, the PS3 is shwoign a hell of alot more potential than the xbox 360 ever did.
AS for the ‘harder to develop for’ argument…was the PS2 nopt said to be hard to develop for?and look at the games on that.
Point is, its a new skill that developers will need to learn and not jsut rest on their laurels. ANd new skills generally tend to equal innovative products.
If Sony hits the $400 price tag on this console, the market is, once again, as good as theirs.
Whats happening with the 360 reminds me of the dreamcast in some ways….they rushed to be the first next gen console, provided online capabilities, a few good games, higher resolution, so on so forth…but in the end, rushing to be first was its downfall, and i think it will prove to be for microsoft too.
Microsoft have a pretty good head start over sony at the moment, and unless the screw up this year, i think they’ll be able to not go running to hide when the PS3 launches. But we have to look at it honestly…the installed userbase for SOny PLaystation products is vastly bigger than that of microsoft. And as the one of the first comments pointed out:

Even less than casual gamers own a PS1, or PS2. and I think that wil be the turning point. Microsoft=targetted at the cool hardcore game geeks. SOny=marketed at everyone and their best friends…and their best friends’ friends, and their friends too.

I’m darn excited for this. It’s very much appearing it’s been worth the wait.
Dan x

Posted by Dan Nicholls on March 15, 2006 at 4:15 AM (PDT)

7

I was really hoping that they would lower the ps2 price :(. I’ve been waiting since november.
I sold my ps2 to get a slim one, but thought that the prices would go down after the 360 comes out. But it didn’t and I thought for sure in march since that’s what sony always did, but no.
Now I thought it was this but absolutely not

Posted by Jonathan Keim on March 15, 2006 at 6:12 AM (PDT)

8

What is this PS3? I thought all the kqql kidz used their computers as gaming rigs? *laughs!*

Posted by Poster on March 15, 2006 at 10:40 AM (PDT)

9

The Nintendo DS may be outselling the PSP, but it’s still a piece of junk. All you can do on the DS is play games, but the PSP is a true personal media device. You can browse the web, listen to podcasts, listen to music, watch movies, and view photos as well as play games.

Posted by Mike C. on March 15, 2006 at 1:54 PM (PDT)

10

“PSP: a treu personal media device.” Man, talk about marketing copy straight from the PSP brochure.

The DS has the games I want to play. The PSP doesn’t (not by a long shot). It doesn’t make the PSP a piece of junk. It just makes it a machine with a lot of unrealized potential. Until that potential is realized (and yes, I’ve heard good things about Daxter) I’m not interested in buying overpriced UMDs, dealing with load times, or replacing my iPod with Memory Sticks.

Anyways, enough portable fanboyism. I’ll happily take my piece of junk (and my future piece of junk, the DS Lite) and keep on playing Mario Kart, Tetris, and Phoenix Wright.

Posted by Anthony on March 15, 2006 at 3:31 PM (PDT)

11

Mike C.,

The PSP is marketed as a true personal media device, but several factors severely hurt it.  First, (and this is a problem that affects the DS too), is that it is too big.  DS has a better way at managing this (particularly the lite) but that’s only because its slightly less wider than the PSP.  The PSP goes in the backpack, not the pocket, and that’s a problem for many people. 

Browse the web?  Listen to podcasts?  Fine, but I’d like to see you browse the web without the keyboard and you have to type the stuff in yourself.  It’s only good when you get the bookmarks in there yourself so that you only have to click and read, not when you have to type it out. 

Watch movies?  Play music?  Again, this device is meant for the backpack, not the pocket.  Also, look at the PSP, it’s obviously something to look at, not something to play. It looks too nice to get it dirty… every single one shows just like all of the fingerprints show on the back of the iPod. 

And was the DS marketed as a personal media device?  For once in our life, can we just stop with this “take everything with you” crap.  Now, everything that the PSP can do can be done on cell phones (with the glaring exception of movies).  So now, why aren’t we using our cell phones for everything instead of the PSP?  If convience is such a factor, why hasn’t the PSP sold much much more than it is now? 

The PSP is found in the gaming section.  It is considered by the stores to be first and foremost, a gaming device.  Everything else is just an extra.  Want more proof?  Like Anthony said, the loading times are the issue here.  Sure it looks nice, but can you really play games well if you have to go through the loading times like that?  It’s obvious that people have, but it’s still a huge barrier to the PSP’s success.

Now to the contrary, the DS has shorter loading times and is a true GAMING device.  It is there to play games.  Everything else is an extra.  Sure, it doesn’t look as good, it feels much different in your hands and it doesn’t have as great graphics, but what it lacks in those areas it makes up for in gameplay.  Travelling people need quicker options to keep up with their lifestyle.  A PSP?  Use it on a long trip somewhere.  A DS?  Use it when you are short on time.

To all the people in the world who read this,
See how much hype there will be around the PS3 when it is released. See how much there will be when PSP2 is released.  See how much there will be when any gaming system is released and compare them.  The fact is, Sony hypes to a huge extent, probably a little too much.  In fact, they all do, but none as much as Sony.  Hype and follow up, but don’t hype and not follow up.  That’s the lesson we can take out of this today.

Posted by Nathan on March 15, 2006 at 7:12 PM (PDT)

12

i thought this site was for iPod news and iPod gear not Sony or its PlayStation 3

Posted by johnny_d_123 on March 16, 2006 at 5:55 PM (PDT)

13

That’s why there’s ilounge backstage.  This allows us the ilounge people to blog about stuff that isn’t about Apple.

Posted by JC on March 16, 2006 at 6:01 PM (PDT)

14

“First of all, delay delay delay.  Bluray could be a great format, but Sony may have wrecked PS3’s chances at competition by tying it so closely to the format.  Besides, we’re still not sure if Bluray will come out as the dominant format or not, so who’s gonna throw the cash down for such an unsure piece of equipment?  Most Bluray players are expected to be, what, $800-900 to start?  So even at $600, Sony may well be taking a loss.  There’s zero chance to see a $400 price tag.”
        -Thom

The reason bluray players are going to be that expensive is because they need to include the processors to output 1080p and all that other fancy stuff. The ps3 handles that with their cell processor. All they need to include is a way to read the disks (and the accs specs, apparently), cell will handle the rest. So comparing stand alone bluray players’ and the ps3’s price on the bluray movie capabilities alone is not a sure fire way to judge the final price.

Posted by AlexGut on March 17, 2006 at 1:09 AM (PDT)

15

Can i just point out, the PS3 was always slated to come out in japan in spring, not USA or Europe. So its really NOT delayed for these territories.
It’s only delayed for Japan. Everyone expected an xmas launch for Europe/USA. And it was never stated otherwise.
It wont matter a blind bit that its delayed a few months in japan.
Besides, this simply means:
-More launch games (Great)
-Less bugs in online software (Great)
-More consoles available on launch (Great)

Personally, i’m thankful its been ‘delayed’. else sony would have been putting out a rushed product. NOw, we get a non-rushed product, more games, less bugs, and more consoles available on launch day).
Dan x

Posted by Dan Nicholls on March 17, 2006 at 6:08 AM (PDT)

16

does anyone else here think that if they release halo 3 the same day as ps3, or even maybe a month or two earlier, sony’s gonna be dead??? I dont own either, and i ahve not decided yet, but if microsoft simultaneously drops the 360 price and releases halo 3, sry sony buy my moneys going striahgt to ol’ bill.

Posted by Matt on March 17, 2006 at 2:54 PM (PDT)

17

matt:
Not at all. AS there are people who would simply buy both.
Besides, people who would only buy halo 3 obviously wouldnt buy a ps3 instead…kind of a different price difference. can u imagine?
‘excuse me mr. game shop serving guy, is that ps3 the same price as halo 3?’.

Sorry, its jsut not comparable. All that’ll happen is that if someone who wants a ps3 wanned to buy halo 3 aswell (this means they very likely already have an xbox 360), they would simply buy both.

Its like saying that Ferrari’s launhc of their new car is ruined, because ford released a new colour trim on their car seats.Not comparable. Complete different price ranges.
If microsoft is planning on banking on this, theyll be a laughing stock.

btw, before you try and flame me, i own a 360, and plan on getting a ps3. so im a ‘non-fanboy’ of either company. Just go for the better console.
Dan x

Posted by Dan Nicholls on March 17, 2006 at 4:36 PM (PDT)

18

Hey Grant, you do realize the 360 is made in China right? So really, you’re not being patriotic, you’re just giving more money to a greedy corporation like M$. The only two reasons I have to buy a next-gen console is most likely Metal Gear Solid 4 and Final Fantasy XIII, which might be enough to convince me to get a PS3.

Posted by Nullus on March 18, 2006 at 5:44 PM (PDT)

19

This is all good and well but we here in Australia are only getting the 360 launched this Thursday!
After a couple of date pushbacks and waiting for the rest of the world to buy up all the consoles they wanted, apparently MS found a few left over in the warehouse they could send out to us.
I had the chance to play a few games on 360 at an EA Games industry night and yes, the graphics are very pretty, but I’m waiting to see what it looks like without the LCD screen and without the HDTV etc because those technologies are still very much in their infancy in this country. I mean, digital TV has barely taken off in this country because there’s very little incentive to switch. Pay a hundred or two for a set-top box (or 4 or more if you want HD) another 3-4 hundred for an HDD recorder and then upgrade your TV to one that’s HDTV compatible which could cost anywhere from $500 to $5k depending on what you go for, connect it up, switch it on and then realise it’s still the same old shows that you never watched anyway and you start to understand why…

Er, got carried away with it all a bit there.

Posted by Nick on March 20, 2006 at 2:50 AM (PDT)

20

Why is M$ always viewed as a greedy money hungry company? Can any1 name 1 business, company, or organization (save the red cross) that isn’t in it for money? God forbid that some one gets it right.

Posted by drskittles on March 20, 2006 at 5:40 PM (PDT)

21

great whats next the revelotion doesnt come out till next year…...........

Just what i wanted to hear

cc

Posted by jay on March 23, 2006 at 5:08 PM (PDT)

If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods or accessories, or if you sell or market products, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators. Wondering why we're talking about something other than iPods? Check the Archives: Backstage has been here and kicking it since 2004.

Commenting is not available in this section entry.
Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter

Email:

Recent News

Recent Reviews

Recent Articles

Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter

Email:

iLounge is an independent resource for all things iPod, iPhone, iPad, and beyond.
iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Apple TV, Mac, and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.
iLounge is © 2001 - 2014 iLounge, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy