Rob Fahey posted a great read on Gamesindustry.biz this week looking at the PS3 this Christmas and how many (or not) are going to be available.
Depending on who you choose to believe, the production process for PlayStation 3 is either running smoothly with plenty of redundancy built into the plan to ensure that sufficient units are ready for the market in November - or is the greatest nightmare in Sony's history as an electronics manufacturer, with low yields threatening to make the company's expensive albatross about as rare as rocking horse faeces come Christmas.
The two points of view - and let's not pretend that either of them is actually a fact at this point in time - don't reconcile terribly well with one another. Media reports supporting both of them are well distributed around the Internet; on the one hand, we have comments from IBM a few months ago indicating that yields of the Cell processor were great, whereas a directly contradictory article more recently cited an anonymous source saying that yields were far lower than expected. Some sources have reported that PS3 chipsets are already being shipped; others seem to believe that they won't ship until late August. And so on, and so forth.
In other words, nobody outside of Sony and its closest manufacturing partners actually knows what on earth is going on with the PS3 right now - but one very strong pointer in favour of the "everything on track" camp came this week from Chinese manufacturing firm Asustek, one of the companies which has been contracted to build the console.
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