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Tuesday, July 13, 2004
US PSX launch delayed to 2005

Sony's hybrid hard disc video recorder, DVD burner and PlayStation 2 console, the PSX, will not be launched in North America until 2005 according to the head of the company's American electronics division, Hideki Komiyama.

It had originally been planned that the device would arrive in both North America and Europe before the end of this year, but the PSX has run into difficulties in Japan, where it launched last Christmas, with disappointing sales despite strong early figures.

The reputation of the system was tarnished early on when Sony dropped a number of key features from the PSX hardware in order to get it out in time for Christmas; the company has since restored those features through free software updates, and is now launching a new version of the PSX which integrates the full feature-set and a number of other enhancements, along with a major new marketing push for the system.

It's not clear whether it's these difficulties or other considerations which have pushed the launch of PSX back to 2005 in the USA; "we're working very hard to make the technology feasible for US consumers," Komiyama said of the delay, but gave no additional detail.

As for the European launch, which had also been planned for this year, no schedule has yet been set according to a Sony spokesperson in Tokyo. Although it's possible that the device could hit retail in Europe ahead of its US debut, it seems most likely that it will also be delayed to 2005 in the PAL regions.

Sony's plans for the PSX still call for sales of 1 million of the devices worldwide by the end of its financial year in March 2005 - a projection which some analysts describe as "ambitious" given the problems faced by the platform to date.

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