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PS3 in pieces

Tuesday 22 August 2006
No single, sellable PlayStation 3 console has been built yet, with less than three months to go before the worldwide launch, according to Kaz Hirai, president of Sony Computer Entertainment America.

"We haven't started manufacturing yet," says Hirai, raising further fears that PS3 will be near-impossible to buy this side of 2007, let alone on its scheduled release date of 17 November.

Sony expects to be able to provide less than 700,000 consoles per major territory before the end of the year - meaning 700,000 for Europe, not just the UK - and Kaz Hirai states that the challenge of meeting demand is "a logistical impossibility". However, even without a single console built and ready, Hirai is confident that "everything's pretty much on track".

The lack of product doesn't stop Sony predicting bigger success for PS3 than the 100 million worldwide sales that PS2 has accomplished so far. Hirai confirmed in an online interview that there will be "some shortages" but that things are "good to go". A delay to the launch of PS3 is not an option - "I don't think that's the approach we want to take".

So, with a depressingly small number of PS3s likely to land in the UK this year - some have predicted 150,000 as the worst scenario - and Sony's storerooms as bare as burgled houses, is PS3 play in 2006 nothing more than a pipe dream for UK gamers?