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Sony will delay EU debut of PlayStation 3

TOKYO -- The release of Sony's PlayStation 3 will be delayed in Europe until March because of problems with producing a key component, the executive in charge of the project said yesterday. The much-awaited update to the popular game console will go on sale in November in the United States and Japan as planned, but fewer units will be available for the launch dates.

The company is still sticking to its initial global target of shipping 6 million PlayStation 3 machines by March 2007.

The sales delay is caused by a problem in mass producing a component in the Blu-ray disc laser part of the machine, the next-generation successor to PlayStation 2, Sony Computer Entertainment chief Ken Kutaragi told reporters.

``We decided to focus on the Japanese and US markets," he said at the gaming unit's Tokyo headquarters. ``I am so sorry not to be able to answer to all the expectations."

In the United States, about 400,000 PlayStation 3 machines will be available when they go on sale Nov. 17. About 100,000 will be available on the Nov. 11 Japan launch date.

The production problem is causing about a one-month delay that will reduce the company's supply capacity by about a million machines from the original plan, he said.

``We've been working hard to try to tackle the problem, but we see the delay is inevitable," he said.

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