Sony’s decision to include Blu-ray into the PS3 bites again with another delay, this time only for European gamers. We mentioned earlier that production of the PS3 was being hampered by a shortage of diodes to make Blu-ray drives for the system. While European gamers won’t even see the PS3 until March of 2007, with numbers like these American and Japanese gamers won’t be seeing them either:
The company is still sticking to its initial global target of shipping 6 million PlayStation 3 machines by March 2007.
But far fewer machines will be available for the launch dates in Japan and the U.S. because of the production problem, Kutaragi said.
In the U.S., about 400,000 PlayStation 3 machines will be available when they go on sale Nov. 17. About 100,000 will be available on the Nov. 11 Japan launch date.
For comparison’s sake, the Xbox 360 launched with approximately 350,000 units in the US last year. It’s interesting to note that they’re effectively screwing over Japanese gamers here with only 100,000 consoles at launch. This is a strong indicator that Sony is worried about losing ground to MS this holiday season. They know that the 360 is failing in Japan and think they can get away with making their fans wait. Meanwhile they know that American gamers aren’t nearly so loyal and, given the choice between a 360 and a Wii or waiting until next year to get a PS3, will go with the Wii60. Regardless, get ready for a whole new level of eBay insanity this November.