Even Wilson, Pacific Crest Securities anaylist, has predicted that Sony's PlayStation 3 could launch in November. This launch will be in North America, followed by a summer launch in Japan and then the European launch in March 2007. Wilson's report in Marketwatch this
week, is just the latest in a string of often conflicting theories from
US analysts about Sony's launch dates for the next-generation console -
but is interesting since Wilson also goes on to predict unit volumes
for the system. Even Wilson believes that a million units of PS3 will be shipped to Japan in the summer, with similar volumes in the US and European launch.
The numbers he predicts are better than those Microsoft achieved with the Xbox 360
this Christmas, when a simultaneous global launch with just 1.3 million
units of the console left retail in both North America and Europe
unable to fulfil pre-orders for the system. However, the shipments would still be small by comparison with
likely demand for the PS3, and if Wilson's "most likely scenario" is
correct, Sony would be under immense pressure to keep a steady supply
of the PS3 into the market post-launch.
News source: gamesindustry.biz
A number of elements suggest that Wilson may be off the mark,
however - not least comments made by Ubisoft boss Yves Guillemot at the
start of this year, when he told the BBC that the PS3 was likely to
launch by September in the US and November in Europe, with a Japanese
launch as early as June or July.
Wilson also voiced his thoughts on the PS3's initial software line-up, saying that it would be "clearly weaker than the Xbox 360
holiday 2006 line-up" - presumably based on the fact that Xbox 360 developers will have had longer to work on the hardware by then, although Sony
claims that over four thousand development kits for PS3 have already
The analyst is unimpressed by the fact that Sony has not shown off
hardware and software yet, ignoring the fact that this is a standard
and unavoidable practice in the videogames sector - with even Microsoft
forced to show off very early software running on PowerMac based boxes
at a quarter of the performance of the final Xbox 360 when it went to
E3 last year.