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Sony Delays PlayStation 3 By Six Months

The release has been pushed to November, reportedly due to copy protection issues for its DVD player and (or) insufficient development kits.

TOKYO — Sony Corp. has delayed the introduction of the Playstation 3 game machine to November—or about six months later than expected—the company confirmed Wednesday (March 15).

Sony said its PS3 will be introduced in major markets by early November, as the company ramps up monthly production capacity to 1 million units.

Sony unveiled its latest Playstation in May, saying that the introduction would occur in the spring of 2006. The introduction was expected after the 2006 Electronic Entertainment Expo, May 9-12.

Ken Kutaragi, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., attributed the revised scheduled to delays in standardization of the Blu-ray Disc format and to the inclusion of next-generation high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) specifications.

Kutaragi said last May that he had assumed the Blu-ray standardization work would be completed by August 2005. However, the spec wasn't completed until January, with licensing beginning in April.

"PS3 will fully support the BD format and it will be the most advanced [Blu-ray Disc] player," Kutaragi pledged.

Next-generation HDMI specs, which define full color with more than 10-bit gray scales and a high frame rate of 1080p, were outlined in January, but won't be completed until June.

Sony has begun volume production of its Cell processor, the core of the PS3, at its Nagasaki Fab 2.

Kutaragi said all game titles would be distributed in BD-ROM disks for security reasons. To enable the distribution, Kutaragi said monthly production capacity of 10 million BD-ROM disks would be reached by the introduction, and would be offered at roughly the same cost as a DVD-ROM.

Sony also announced a revised schedule of delivering development kits and software. Prototype development tools will be available later this month, and final versions in May. Earlier versions of development kits will also be available beginning at the end of March. The final version will be ready in June.

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