PlayStation 3 launch delayed till March


Sony's much anticipated European launch of its Playstation 3 games console has been delayed because of problems with its Blu-ray laser system.

Ken Kutaragi, Sony Computer Entertainment's president, told reporters in Tokyo that the more important markets in Japan and the US had had to be prioritised over Europe following supply procurement problems.

As a result European gaming fans looking forward to receiving the Playstation 3 in their Christmas stocking will instead have to wait until next spring - the six million Playstations being produced for the European market are now expected to be available in March.

The problem causing the delay affects a key component of the product – the Blu-ray DVD laser which is expected to power the next generation of audio-visual entertainment technologies.

With limited units to be available by the planned November launch, numbers being shipped to the US and Japan are also likely to be reduced.

Sony's failure to roll out the Playstation 3 gaming console follows rival Microsoft's successful worldwide launch of its Xbox 360 in May last year.

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