NEWS - Thursday, March 16, 2006

Sony’s Delay, Microsoft’s Xbox360 Gain

Thursday, March 16, 2006: New Delhi: If you have been pinning your hopes on Sony’s last announcement that the Playstation 3 would be launched as per schedule this spring, better give up, as the company has announced that PlayStation 3 will not be released until November. The benefit of this delay will go to Sony’s arch rival in the game consol world, Microsoft. The industry believes that due to this delay more and more gamers will turn to Microsoft’s Xbox 360. Though, it must be kept in mind that even Microsoft has had its share of jolts during the release of its gaming machine. According to New York Times, "Both consumers and game experts said the delay could prompt some gamers who had been waiting for the PlayStation 3 to switch to buying an Xbox 360 from Microsoft, Sony’s top gaming rival outside Japan." The newspaper also reported that Microsoft believed that Sony’s delay would not affect its plans for the 360. But some game experts said that the move would help Microsoft strengthen its growing foothold in the video game market. "You know at first I really wasn’t worried about the PS3, then I was, now its just sad," read a relatively understated comment yesterday from a user called Hotwad on GameSpot, a game news site. "What are they thinking ... and I will be getting my xbox360 today instead of keeping the money I had planned on buying my PS3 with this summer. ... thanks, Sony," reports New York Times. Besides gamers’ concern, the GameSpot on its website puts analysts’ view over the delay. "While this launch date is a delay for Japan, it is a clear positive for our US-publishing stocks, given recent speculation about a possible pushout into Q1 2007," said Shawn Milne of Friedman Billings Ramsey. Milne also pointed out Sony’s supply projections as a net win for the industry. "Sony indicated that it expects 1-million-unit monthly production capacity at launch and six million units by Q1 2007 (well above Microsoft’s Xbox 360 target of 2.5M in its first 90 days). We were expecting 500K-1M at launch in 4Q for the US." The delay is believed to be a calculated effort to give developers more time to create hit games. But analysts and game executives in the US said that was a valid explanation only in that game makers do not yet have final PlayStation 3 prototypes to work with, reports New York Times.

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