Tuesday, January 23, 2007

PS3 to launch in UK on March 23rd?



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

11 comments:

Spak-Spang said...

Even if Sony launches in March or April that time difference isn't a very big deal.

What is a big deal is how many units they can provide for the launch.

If Nintendo is able to get 1 Million + units in Europe by March and Sony is only capable of pushing 300,000-500,000 units then it is going to at an even bigger disadvantage.

Nintendo should hopefully, have production in full swing by March providing more steady and readily available shipment of the Wii by the time Sony is ready to launch.

I don't think the PS3 will be readily available in any region until after Summer 2007...except for the small fact that nobody is buying the PS3s in the US right now, and they are in the stores NOW.

Anonymous said...

Sony certainly could redistribute. All they need to do is package different cables and manuals, adjust the firmware, and replace video display controllers, which can all be done in any local region. In fact, it's likely that adapting the video output isn't necessary either as almost every last EU TV supports NTSC and they probably supported all standards in any case. The system is multivoltage, the games are region free, and adapting a system for region coding is easy for them.

They certainly could relocate unsold units to Europe, and perhaps the annecdotal evidence for poor JP and US PS3 demand explains why the CAN now make March

Falafelkid said...

Hi Spak-Spang.

Absolutely, that was what I was trying to say in my commentary: the launch date is secondary to the size of the shipment.

And as you correctly pointed out: there really appear to be PS3 consoles sitting on store shelves in the US - but those consoles (or rather those in transit to the US) cannot be redirected to Europe, since they would only be able to output SD in NTSC.

Falafelkid said...

Hi Anoynmous.

Sony certainly could redistribute. All they need to do is package different cables and manuals, adjust the firmware, and replace video display controllers, which can all be done in any local region. In fact, it's likely that adapting the video output isn't necessary either as almost every last EU TV supports NTSC and they probably supported all standards in any case.

I disagree. While a lot of equipment out here in Europe can handle NTSC, noone would ship consumer electronics to Europe that can only output that standard.

It is pretty much an accepted truth that PAL offers better picture quality than NTSC (having less frames per second, but more lines) - and European consumers would not accept less quality on this point.

Grandmaster B said...

I still like NTSC better over PAL.

Anyway apart from comment Anonymous, thats not a very well thought out comment you made there. No way in the world they would do something like that.

Letsan said...

Sony has confirmed this information...and released some other details about the european launch of PS3.

http://kotaku.com/gaming/europe/europe-ps3-launch-details-revealed-231252.php

Letsan said...

Also said the number of units being shipped: 1 million 60GB model units.

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