Analyst Hitoshi Kuriyama of Merrill Lynch in Japan has reported that launch of the PS3 could be delayed by six to twelve months, according to the Financial Times. Such a delay would mean the gaming platform wouldn’t appear in Japan until the latter half of 2006, and wouldn’t launch in the U.S. until 2007.
The main reasons for a delay would appear to be high production costs and unfinished technical specifications.
Merrill Lynch analysts in San Francisco have estimated the materials and manufacturing costs of the PS3 could approach $900 per unit (including $230 for the Cell processor and $350 for the Blu-Ray drive), falling to $320 per unit three years after launch. The cost-per-unit implications for the Playstation are irksome: in order to compete with Microsoft’s pricing on the Xbox 360, Sony would either have to drastically discount the sale price to match the roughly $400 retail price of Xbox 360 systems, and/or limit the number of Playstation 3 consoles released to market to two to three million to limit up-front losses while the consoles are at their most expensive to produce. Manufacturers