What PS3’s November Launch Means for the Remainder of 2006

Posted by joefunk :: Advertising in Video Games | Company News-M&A | Industry Trends | Retail-Products

KutaragiAs predicted by this very blogger yesterday, Sony did indeed announce the worldwide launch of the PS3 in Tokyo today. They are shooting for a worldwide launch in November, citing delays in finalizing the Blu-ray disk technology.

“I’d like to apologize for the delay,” said Ken Kutaragi, the head of Sony’s  videogame division worldwide. “I have been cautious because many people in various areas are banking on the potential of the next-generation DVD.”

Early reports of the delay sent Sony’s stock tumbling, and is sure to propel Microsoft Xbox execs into a full scale marketing frenzy, as their window to build up the 360’s installed based just got a whole lot wider.

Look for the Xbox team to double its efforts in marketing its next generation console and games that are available now, in the hope of swaying the millions of gamers who were waiting for the PS3 launch. And a 360 price cut between now and the PS3’s launch would be a smart move by Microsoft, and wouldn’t surprise me.

And even if Sony does hit the new November launch date, which is obviously imperative for holiday sales, it is hard to imagine they will even come close to having enough units available to meet demand.

It looks like the battle of 2006 will shape up to be mostly a battle of spin between the two company’s two formidable marketing machines: How many people can Microsoft to convince to buy their currently available hardware, versus how many people Sony can convince to wait on their further-delayed vaporware. With an actutal product to sell and a newly expanded exclusive sales window, Microsoft just got a huge gift from Sony. 

The clock is ticking...

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