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PlayStation 3 launch delayed over BD drive

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. said Wednesday it will put off the launch of its PlayStation 3 by about six months until early November due to a delay in finalising specifications for its Blu-ray disc drive – a key part of the new video game console. SCE initially planned to launch the PS3 this spring as it had expected Blu-ray DVD makers to complete the standardization work for the advanced DVD format by the end of last August, President Ken Kutaragi said at a gathering of video game industry officials.

But the standardization work delayed as a result of improvements added since then to the copy protection technology standard for the Blu-ray disc drive, forcing the company to postpone the release of the PS3, he said.

The Blu-ray technology is indispensable for PS3 consoles featuring high-definition graphics that match the image quality of large-screen movies, according to SCE.

"As the PS3 is responsible for achieving widespread use of the next-generation DVD," SCE decided to delay its launch date instead of releasing it on schedule but without the Blu-ray technology, Kutaragi said.

Kutaragi said the PS3 will be the first Sony console to be released simultaneously in Japan, the United States and Europe. Initial monthly production is projected at 1 million units with a rise to 6 million expected over the business year to 31 March 2007.

Story filed 15.03.06

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