According to the AFX news service, Taiwan's Commercial Times is reporting the PlayStation 3 has begun production. The report says that Sony will take delivery of the first batch of 200,000 consoles by the end of the month.
In attempting to verfiy the Commercial Times report, AFX contacted Taiwan's Asustek, the firm producing the PS3, which declined to comment on the news. Asustek may be better known to American PC gamers as the motherboard manufacturer Asus. The company has a previously stated policy of not commenting on matters due to confidentiality agreements it has with clients.
According to the report, Sony expects a total of 4 million PS3s from Asustek in its "first consignment," with monthly shipments of 200,000, increasing to 2 million in October. Another company, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd., is also expected to begin making PS3s for Sony soon.
Gamers worried about an Xbox 360-esque shortage of systems at the PS3 launch might find the news heartening. Earlier this month, CNN/Money's Chris Morris reported that the Xbox 360 entered production a mere 69 days before first hitting shelves. Currently the PS3 is 114 days away from its November 11 release in Japan, and 120 days from its November 17 launch in North America, Europe, and Australia.