April 12, 2006

PlayStation 3 holdup isn’t expected to affect game releases

Posted in General at 12:18 am by corneliusw

Though eager video gamers may sweat the delay of a next-generation console, developers and industry experts seem less concerned.

One video game developer says a delay in the launch of the Sony PlayStation 3 console –— which will hit stores in November, and not this spring as initially planned — will not affect its schedule of releases for the console.

Bob Finlayson, spokesman for the Calabasas Hills-based THQ Inc., said the delay, which was announced at a March 15 news conference in Japan, is not a big surprise.

“It was confirmation of what everyone was expecting,” Finlayson said. “THQ has been through a lot of these console launches, so I think we have a pretty good feel of how we do it.”

Finlayson said THQ is developing games for the PS3, along with the recently released Microsoft Xbox 360, and the Nintendo Revolution, which is expected to be released later this year.

The Xbox 360 debuted last November.

Though Sony’s delay will give Microsoft a one-year head start, industry expert Brian Crecente said he does not anticipate the delay giving Microsoft an insurmountable edge.

“Yes, it is going to hurt Sony in the long run, but I still don’t think it’s going to be a case of Sony losing the war because of this one delay,” said Crecente, who is the editor of the video game blog Kotaku.com. “In my mind, gaming competition is a lot like the choice of Pepsi or Coke. Established gamers are either fans of the Xbox or the PlayStation.”

Crecente, who is also the (Denver) Rocky Mountain News’ gaming writer, said an “enormous cost increase” could make gamers change their minds about the PlayStation 3. He said unconfirmed reports indicate the console will cost “no more than $425.” A basic Xbox 360 costs $299.

NovaLogic Inc., a video game developer based in Calabasas, has not announced plans for games on any of the next-generation systems, but has the hardware and software necessary to produce games for the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360, said Henrik Markarian, NovaLogic’s director of development.

Markarian said the PS3 delay “has not had a major impact on our planned product strategy.”

NovaLogic has published games for the PlayStation 2 and the Xbox. Markarian said the biggest change for the next generation of gaming will be the use of high definition graphics.

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