March 15, 2006 11:25 AM PST
Sony delays PS3 launch to November
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Sony on Wednesday confirmed that it's pushing back the worldwide release date for the game console to early November. The company cited delays in finalizing copyright-protection specifications in the Blu-ray standard, which will be the underlying high-definition DVD format for the PS3.
The PS3 had been scheduled to debut this spring. The company is aiming to release the console simultaneously in the U.S., Europe and Japan.
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Even with the delay, Sony hopes to ship 6 million units around the globe by the end of the year, Ken Kutaragi, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, said at a press briefing in Tokyo. The company plans to bolster its manufacturing capacity so that it can produce 1 million units per month, he said.
Kutaragi also said that the new PlayStation will have a 2.5-inch 60GB hard drive and will run the Linux operating system.
For game software, the company plans to release titles in the Blu-ray disc format. By producing up to 10 million copies a month, it expects to keep manufacturing costs as low as with current double-layer DVD-ROMs.
Sony also plans to launch a PlayStation Network Platform, an online service, around the time of the PS3 debut. The service is expected to compete with Microsoft's Xbox Live.
Sony is a leader in the game console arena with more than 100 million PlayStation 2s sold worldwide.
Blu-ray is a critical technology for Sony, not only for differentiating the PS3 from the Xbox 360 and Nintendo's Revolution, but also in a DVD standards battle. In that arena, it is up against the HD DVD format being backed by Toshiba.
Michiko Nagai of CNET Japan reported from Tokyo.
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