It seems that Sony's plans of a worldwide, near-simultaneous launch of the PlayStation 3 have been laid to rest. We just received this official note from Sony Computer Entertainment Europe:
London, Wednesday 6 September 2006 – Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) today announced that it would revise the launch date of its PLAYSTATION 3 computer entertainment system in the PAL territories of Europe, Russia, Middle East, Africa and Australasia from 17th November 2006, as previously announced, to March 2007.
Launch dates for Japan and North America will remain the same, which are November 11th and November 17th respectively.
The revision of the launch date in the SCEE territories is caused by the delay in the mass production schedule of the blue laser diode within the Sony Group, thus affecting the timely procurement of key components to be utilised in PLAYSTATION 3.
The previously announced PLAYSTATION 3 shipment forecast of 6 million units globally within the fiscal year ending 2007 is not changed.
That's definitely bad news for folks in Europe and Australia. But it's good news for Japan and North America, because it means Sony will focus the entire November launch window on those two territories.