I have come across a new comment that gives rise to further speculation that Sony will delay the European launch of the PlayStation3 further. Speaking to The Associated Press (via Yahoo), Sony Corp. President Ryoji Chubachi made no mention of the March release date:
Sony also expects to meet its shipment target of 6 million PS3 ready by the end of the fiscal year ending March and will launch its next generation system in Europe as soon as possible, Chubachi said.
In early September, Sony pushed back the European launch from November 17th, naming March 2007 as the new date. Two months later, Phil Harrison declined to confirm that date, speaking to semi-official PlayStation blog Three Speech:
Given that all of our previous statements about launching in Europe simultaneously with the US and Japan turned out not to be the case, I would not like to make any definitive statements on that. It’s not my job to comment on hardware supply issues other than to say some very smart people are working very hard to catch up.
The blog later updated the story, quoting Sony officials as saying that the comments had been taken out of context.
A few days ago, though, Ken Kutaragi was quoted as saying that the European launch may be pushed back until May 2007. Again, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe responded to these fresh rumours, categorically ruling them out.
Now, Chubachi´s comments seem to give further credence to the console´s European launch being delayed beyond March.
I will go out on a limb here and state that Sony will not meet March. They might try to launch nevertheless, but I do not think they can rally more than 100.000 units. In my opinion, it would be wiser to delay again and have a sufficient shipment in place.
Also, consider that these delay rumours mostly came from SCEI, while SCEE did all the debunking. This is Sony Japan shafting Europe once again.
EDIT The good people at CVG are citing an anonymous source as saying that the European PS3 launch may even be delayed until September.
Sources: The Associated Press (via Yahoo), Three Speech