A report on Japanese website Sankei Web, translated by consumer site GameSpot, has reported that Sony has publicly acknowledged that the PlayStation 3 console’s release may be delayed, suggesting that the console’s Blu-ray drive is the primary reason for the problem.
An unnamed Sony spokesperson is quoted as saying that, “The highest quality picture is vital to the PS3. There is a possibility of delay if delivery of parts is delayed." Although the spokesperson does not refer to any specific release date, Sankei Web suggests that the Japanese launch could now be as late as October.
Since Sony has never officially announced a launch date for the PlayStation 3, making only the vaguest of references to a spring launch in unnamed territories, the significance of the delay is difficult to gauge. According to Enterbrain president and Famitsu publisher Hiokazu Hamamura, he now thinks that a May launch is unlikely, since Sony has failed to start taking pre-orders in Japan.
An October launch in Japan could potentially still see a North American launch in late November or December, although a European launch in 2006 is looking increasing unlikely. With the Xbox 360 already underperforming its predecessor in Japan and still largely out of stock in the West, Sony may feel there is no immediate need to rush the launch. However, only an official and detailed announcement from the company will properly end the current speculation.