Report: PlayStation 3 delayed until November

Sony will delay the launch of its next-generation PlayStation console until November, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun newspaper reported Wednesday.

Sony Computer Entertainment (SCEI) will delay the launch of its next-generation PlayStation console until November, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun business newspaper reported in its Wednesday morning edition.

The delay in the PlayStation 3 is due to the late development of copy protection technology for Blu-ray Disc, which is the optical disc format that will be used in the console, said the newspaper.

SCEI, which could not immediately be reached for comment, is due to brief developers later Wednesday on the latest news concerning PlayStation 3.

The company had previously announced a launch for the console in the "spring" but had never been more specific. However a delay has been widely expected for some time because of hold-ups in Blu-ray Disc commercialization.

The copy protection system for Blu-ray Disc and a competing format, HD-DVD, is called Advanced Access Content System (AACS) and is being developed by a group of eight companies: IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Panasonic, Sony, Toshiba, The Walt Disney Co. and Warner Bros.

The system was supposed to be finished last year, but talks continue toward version 1.0 of the system.

The delay has already forced Toshiba to push back its HD-DVD player launch plans -- Toshiba had been planning to launch a player in Japan in December but now expects to sell its first player in the U.S. later this month. At present an interim version of AACS has been released to allow companies to release their first video disc players.

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Martyn Williams

IDG News Service

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