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PAL PSX launch moves back to 2005

Hybrid PS2 now likely to ship early 2005 in Europe

Sony's ill-fated PSX will not get a European or North American release until 2005 according to Sony Electronics America president Hideki Komiyama.

In a recent Bloomberg interview Komiyama admitted the PS2-based hard disk/DVD recorder would be pushed back to a 2005 release for the US, although European territories could see it in time for the end of Sony's current fiscal year, which ends March 31st 2005.

The reason for the continued delay of the device is to apparently make the device "more appealing", and added functionality is planned in order to bring it into line with rival systems, although Sony has not yet announced what the extra features will be.

With a 2005 release now set in stone, the question is how receptive consumers will be to such a system. The PSX launched in December 2003 in Japan, but was missing core functionality and failed to take off as expected. It has recently been re-launched with the missing features included, and existing consumers have been able to flash upgrade their systems, but the system has struggled to win consumer approval and Sony's targets of 1 million sales by the end of 2004 look unlikely to say the least.

The issue Sony faces in Europe and the US is likely to be one of consumer apathy; not aided by the expectance of the PS3 launch in late 2006. By mid next year, the PS2 is likely to have reached almost saturation point in terms of its installed base and it's questionable whether the early adopters, mindful of new tech around the corner, would want to buy an expensive and much delayed system featuring five year old console tech inside it.

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Kristan Reed

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Kristan is a former editor of Eurogamer, dad, Stone Roses bore and Norwich City supporter who sometimes mutters optimistically about Team Silent getting back together.

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