Thursday, September 07, 2006

UK Industry Reacts To PS3 Delay.

News of PS3's Euro launch delay has been greeted by mixed reactions from key figures from the videogames industry, with many unsurprised by the announcement. "I don't think it's unexpected but I must admit I'm disappointed," said Jon Murphy, marketing manager for Konami UK. "The people who will lose out most are the European consumers, who will again have to wait for months after the US and Japan to get the latest console. Microsoft managed a global launch and the same is expected with the Wii so it's a shame that Sony will not manage to do the same".

A spokesperson for high street retailer GAME was also less than surprised by the delay: "We operate in a technology industry where unfortunately product does get delayed, that's just a fact of the market we're in,", they said, before adding, "However, we were never anticipating a substantial number of PS3 consoles for the UK launch in the first place".

In fact many companies perceive the delay as a positive move, believing the slip means more units will be available for Europe come March plus they'll have more time to fine-tune their titles for the PAL market.

Electronic Arts was also upbeat about the delay, with Simon Smith-Wright, UK Head of PR, saying, "EA will have a great portfolio of games ready when the console arrives in Europe and we're looking forward to bringing our PS3 line up to consumers in the region this March".

Whether you think the delay is a good or bad thing - and let's be realistic, most of us are disappointed at the announcement - one thing's for sure, come November there will be a lot of unhappy gamers who, in the absence of PS3, may well be tempted to invest in an X360 or Wii. "The delay is certainly playing into Microsoft's hands," said Konami's Jon Murphy. "The X360 will be able to get a much stronger grip over Europe which, compared to Japan and the US, is a much more open market. I don't think Microsoft has won the next-gen war by any means but Sony has made it much, much harder for itself".

He continued: "By the time PS3 comes out in Europe there will already be two very established next-gen consoles: the X360 as a serious games-playing machine and the Wii as a great-value, family-friendly console, so it'll be interesting to see where the PS3 fits into that".

While IGN UK has no doubt the PS3 will be a success when it eventually hits the shelves, there's no escaping the disappointment that Sony didn't manage a global launch.

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