If you thought the woes of a late release and high price were not enough for the PS3 release, there's more news. Now they are having problems getting the Blu-ray parts.
It's important to understand the whole situation here. The XBox 360 came out in late 2005, using "old" DVD technology. This is the DVD player we all had in our homes up through 2006. It shows a signal that is better than VHS, and better than "regular" TV can handle ... but not as good as a HD TV can handle. It's sort of in the middle.
The PS3 is the first system capable of the true HD-TV quality level of DVD. The two competing formats for this higher level of DVD are HD DVD and Blu-ray DVD. Sony chose to go with the Blu-ray format. This is great, in the sense that anyone who buys a PS3 will automatically get this super high quality DVD format. They can buy Blu-ray movie DVDs for their high definition TV and see movies at an incredibly high quality level. The games can be larger and more complex. A Blu-ray DVD can hold 5 times as much information as the old style DVDs did.
However, as with all new technologies, it costs a lot at the beginning! As of Oct 21 2006, just buying a *DVD Player* with Blu-Ray capability is $750 to $800. How could a game console that contains this *plus* play games too cost less?
This is the problem currently facing Sony. Sony now hopes to get 2 million PS3s out in its initial launch to Japan and the US in holiday season 2006. Compare this with the 10 million XBox 360s that will be in the market by the end of 2006. To have 2 million PS3s ready, this means that each PS3 unit needs a Blu-Ray player in it. There just aren't enough Blu-Ray parts to go around right now!
So where does that leave us? The PS3's Blu-Ray will be an amazing part of the console, saving us money in that we don't have to buy a new DVD player to go with our HD TV. However, even if they "lose a ton of money" with each sale, by selling them for only $500 when players are currently costing $750 and more, will people agree to buy it? How many people will not care about HD DVD and go with the much cheaper XBox 360 or Wii, even though they are on systems that have lower quality DVDs with much less game storage space?
Even if a lot of people *want* the new PS3, there just won't be a lot available. On the release date of November 17, there apparently will be 400,000 units in the US. That's less than 10,000 games per state. And this for a system that many non-gamers will buy to get their hands on the "cheap" Blu-ray DVD player.
My take on all of this? The PS3 is going to be an *awesome* gaming system. At its price - whether it's $500 or $600 - it's still *incredibly* cheap compared with Blu-Ray DVD players on the market. You know you're going to get a Blu-Ray player anyway if you have a HD TV. The games can be 5 times as large as those on the XBox 360! It's well worth waiting in line, watching like a hawk for pre-release sales, and getting your hands on one.