The PlayStation3 will launch on the 23rd of March for a retail price of £425, the reputable EDGE magazine has learned.
We have been advised by a source seeking to remain nameless that PlayStation 3 will "definitely launch in the UK on March 23 at £425".
Semi-official PlayStation blog Three Speech is promising that an official announcement is due within days - and views the rumoured launch date as the most likely.
The announcement is more likely to be made Thursday or Friday of this week now. (And we’re sticking with the previously mooted March 23 launch date as 99% certain!)
If true, the £425 price tag will be hanging on the 60GB model (since the 20GB model will not be avilable for the UK launch), which approximates to $842,75 or €647,10. The prices in the Euro zone are still expected to be €499 and €599 for the 20GB and 60GB model, respectively.
I will be honest with you: I did not expect Sony to stick to the March launch date. Various sources had given rise to speculation that the PS3 will be delayed a third time in Europe. Most recently, Sony Corp. head honcho Howard Stringer himself mentioned April as the European launch month, which was later corrected to ´spring´. It seemed as if the company was intent on opening a back door, trying to magically turn their commitment to a specific month into a much more flexible promise of launching within a season.
Now it appears as if SCEE was going ahead with March, after all. It still remains to be seen, however, whether the company will be able to move large enough shipments to the territory. Japan received less than 100.000 consoles, while the US got less than 200.000.
Of course, we are further down the (production) line and Sony has apparently overcome the worst of the problems. Bear in mind, though, that European units need to be PAL-compatible. Shipments that were originally destined for either Japan or the US cannot simply be re-allocated. The European launch shipment must be a dedicated one and, thus, the number must have been set in stone for some time now.
My guess is that Sony will not be able to rally more than 300.000 units for Europe. They will sell out, though, which will at least be some good news for the battered company.
EDIT The story has now been confirmed. However, putting my estimate to shame, Sony has announced they will be able bring a million units in for the European launch, the bulk of them going to the UK. That is some amount. If true, I stand corrected.
Source: EDGE magazine
Thanks to: CVG, Anonymous