Today Sony announced the European launch of the PlayStation 3 has been delayed to March 2007. The U.S. and Japan launch will be on November 17 but the company will only have 500,000 units.
The company has 400,000 units for the U.S. and 100,000 units for Japan. For comparison, Microsoft had 1.5 million Xbox 360 consoles available at launch.
"We decided to focus on the Japanese and U.S. markets. I am so sorry not to be able to answer to all the expectations," said Sony CEO Ken Kutaragi. Problems with manufacturing blue laser diodes are putting a serious strain on PS3 production and are part of the reason for the delay and low launch numbers. Kutaragi went on to say “We've been working hard to try to tackle the problem, but we see the delay is inevitable."
Mass production of Sony's Cell processor isn't even expected to start until the end of this month according to Kutaragi. And as a result of this production snag, Sony has revised its shipping estimates from 4 million units at the end of 2006 to just 2 million.