In recent weeks, speculation that Sony would not make its previously announced spring 2006 release date for the PlayStation 3 has grown after a Merrill Lynch report predicted the new console would be pushed back until the end of the year, or perhaps later. Japanese site Sankei Web is reporting that Sony has acknowledged the possibility of a delay in the system, and that such a delay would be due to problems with the mass production of the console's built-in Blu-ray drive.
A Sony spokesperson is quoted in the article as saying, "The highest quality picture is vital to the PS3. There is a possibility of delay [to the launch] if delivery of parts is delayed."
The article suggests that if Sony does delay the system, it would put the launch off until after October in order to hit the busy holiday season. It also quotes Enterbrain president Hiokazu Hamamura as saying that if Sony hasn't started taking orders for the system by now, it would be difficult for the company to launch the PS3 in May.