Why are PS3 games always late?

Unreal Tournament 3

Original release date: PC version out 19th November 2007

Current release date: This year in the US. Possibly 2008 for Europe due to certification issues.

The reason for the delay

It’s that word again. Originally announced as a PS3 console-exclusive but now getting a staggered Xbox 360 release, Epic’s Unreal Tournament 3 has already shipped for the PC. The PlayStation 3 version? Eeeerm, not just yet...

The reasons are even more cloudy for this one. Firstly there are the obvious rumoured problems with getting the Unreal Engine 3 to run on the PS3, but that engine itself has come in for some controversy all on its own. Eternal Darkness and Too Human developer Silicon Knights has said that the engine doesn’t deliver what Epic promised and is currently in the midst of a lawsuit with the company over the matter.

The fact that the PC version of UT3 is ready though, implies that the problem may not be all with the engine, if at all. Some continue to blame the PS3 and Sony itself. An anonymous UK developer has in fact reiterated to PSM3 magazine that “Middleware like the Unreal engine just doesn’t perform as it should on PS3”, before continuing “If Epic can’t get their own game out using their own tech, what help has anyone else got?”

Having said that though, PSM3 have seen the PS3 build of UT3 and describe it as “incredibly fluid and sharp”, blaming the delay instead on last minute tweaking. In addition, Epic's Mark Rein has recently denied development issues, proclaiming pride in the PS3 edition and responding with a simple "Doesn't affect us baby!" when quizzed on the matter at the PC version's launch.

A little from column A, a little from column B, a little from column C? Only Epic knows for sure.