August 5, 2005 2:21 PM PDT

Analyst: Sony could delay PS3

A note buried deep in an analyst's eight-page memo about Electronic Arts has gotten video game console gadflies buzzing about the possibility that Sony might delay the launch of its much-awaited PlayStation 3.

Release dates are among the most closely watched elements of the forthcoming wave of next-generation game consoles, particularly Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PS3.

With that in mind, Microsoft had appeared to be in the fast lane when it announced earlier this year that the Xbox 360 will be available this holiday season. Sony expects the PS3 to hit the streets early next year, giving the Xbox a lead of several months in garnering attention and sales.

But Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter thinks that chronology may prove inaccurate. He believes Microsoft, which reportedly has plans for only 10 to 12 games to be available for the Xbox 360's launch, will fall far short of dominating the market. Pachter also wrote that he expects Sony to try to undercut the Xbox 360 launch by lowering the price of its still-popular PlayStation 2 to $99.

All together, Pachter told CNET News.com, he thinks that the Xbox 360 launch will not go as well as Microsoft hopes and that, "What I'm trying to highlight here is that Sony has options."

And those options, he wrote in his memo--which focused on his outlook for Electronic Arts, but also touched on the upcoming market for console games--include "the possibility that the PS3 launch will slip early into 2007."

But Pachter is clear that he would view such a delay as something Sony would do only if it feels it doesn't need to keep up with any potential market lead Microsoft would get from releasing the Xbox 360 first. Rather, his opinion was that Sony could take such a step from a position of strength, not from any problems with getting the PS3 to market.

Microsoft said it doesn't comment on speculation. Sony didn't return requests for comment.

Not everyone agrees with Pachter's reasoning.

Richard Doherty, president of the analyst firm Envisioneering, said briefings he's gotten from Sony lead him to believe the company is sticking to its original plan.

"Every division of Sony is committed to the PS3 for the spring of next year, which we believe will be at (the game industry's trade show) E3," Doherty said. "They are committed to the second quarter of 2006."

8 comments

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maybe we're waiting for ps3
If Sony is waiting to determine the release date of PS3 in order to
see how well Xbox 360 sells at its launch, they might not be taking
into account those of us who will not be buying an Xbox in order to
wait for PS3. In other words, lower initial sales of the Xbox may
actual infer higher initial sales of PS3.
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
maybe we're waiting for ps3
If Sony is waiting to determine the release date of PS3 in order to
see how well Xbox 360 sells at its launch, they might not be taking
into account those of us who will not be buying an Xbox in order to
wait for PS3. In other words, lower initial sales of the Xbox may
actual infer higher initial sales of PS3.
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Analysts = Speculators
They can only use the following words: could, would, might be, possibly :)
Posted by 201293546946733175101343322673 (722 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Too True
I think all analysts should do what Bob Cringley does. He makes yearly predictions and then goes back and sees how right/wrong he was. (No I am not paid to say that. I just think he has some interesting ideas sometimes, especially on the future of Apple and Microsoft lack of.) Perhaps then whenever these guys make their predictions you could have a rating, like on eBay, of their recent accuracy. That would/could/should make them a bit more cautious with what they say.
Posted by Andrew J Glina (1673 comments )
Link Flag
Analysts = Speculators
They can only use the following words: could, would, might be, possibly :)
Posted by 201293546946733175101343322673 (722 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Too True
I think all analysts should do what Bob Cringley does. He makes yearly predictions and then goes back and sees how right/wrong he was. (No I am not paid to say that. I just think he has some interesting ideas sometimes, especially on the future of Apple and Microsoft lack of.) Perhaps then whenever these guys make their predictions you could have a rating, like on eBay, of their recent accuracy. That would/could/should make them a bit more cautious with what they say.
Posted by Andrew J Glina (1673 comments )
Link Flag
the dirty truth
The problem with your comments is that you're forgetting one crucial fact CHRISTMAS!!! parents will be in the stores for their children screaming for the BOX under the tree. and the sheep mentality will rule the day, microsoft will make a killing. as for multi-console buyers they will buy two weeks before everyone else, and wait for the fall out to begin when the demand is high and supply is low (CHA CHING). be prepared for an under release to the market advertisement assault, the box will be scarce in december to help fuel that fury.
Gamers dont give a dam when consoles are released They buy when they can afford it and buy cant afford it. as long as the games are good and there is time to waste, they're fish to frag. personally I'll buy the BOX when the PS3 is released, buy the PS3 when NINREV is released, and buy the NINREV when the cartrige adapter is either released or technology in the underground allows me to hack my cartriges to be downloaded to the NINREV so i dont have to repurchase them online. YEEEEAH! OK_K_K_KAY!
Posted by Luke_Cage (33 comments )
Reply Link Flag
the dirty truth
The problem with your comments is that you're forgetting one crucial fact CHRISTMAS!!! parents will be in the stores for their children screaming for the BOX under the tree. and the sheep mentality will rule the day, microsoft will make a killing. as for multi-console buyers they will buy two weeks before everyone else, and wait for the fall out to begin when the demand is high and supply is low (CHA CHING). be prepared for an under release to the market advertisement assault, the box will be scarce in december to help fuel that fury.
Gamers dont give a dam when consoles are released They buy when they can afford it and buy cant afford it. as long as the games are good and there is time to waste, they're fish to frag. personally I'll buy the BOX when the PS3 is released, buy the PS3 when NINREV is released, and buy the NINREV when the cartrige adapter is either released or technology in the underground allows me to hack my cartriges to be downloaded to the NINREV so i dont have to repurchase them online. YEEEEAH! OK_K_K_KAY!
Posted by Luke_Cage (33 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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