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Taiwan, Hong Kong to get PS3 before Europe

Now that Lik-Sang's out of the way...

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Presumably having satisfied itself Hong Kong-based online games hardware retailer Lik-Sang.com is now safely out of the way, Sony has said the PS3 will go on sale in the territory on 17 November. Taiwan will get the next-generation console on the same day too.

The announcement will come as a blow to European PlayStation fans who were last September told they will have to wait until March 2007 for the console's formal European launch. The delay was implemented because of component shortages, specifically blue-laser diodes needed for the console's Blu-ray Disc player, Sony said at the time. Until that point, Europe was due to get the PS3 on 17 November.

Now it looks like Hong Kong and Taiwan will get machines that might once have been destined for Europe. But with speculation that the consumer electronics giant has already reduced Japan's allocation from 100,000 PS3s to 80,000, a reduction of 20 per cent, you have to wonder what Sony's up to.

To be fair, Taiwan and Hong Kong a much smaller markets that Western Europe, making them far easier for Sony to supply.

According to Electronic Arts estimates, Sony will ship 500,000-800,000 PS3 into the US market by the end of the year. Sony has said in the past that it hopes to ship 2m PS3s worldwide by the end of 2006.

Taiwan will get both the 20GB and the 60GB versions of the PS3, Sony said at the console's formal unveiling there this week.

Sony's defeat of Lik-Sang in the English High Court forced the online retailer to suspend its business. It was already offering to ship PS3s to console-less Europeans, a process the would have been made easier by an official Hong Kong launch. ®

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