Sony Corp.'s next-generation PlayStation 3 video game console might not appear in key markets this year and could cost the company $900 per unit to produce initially, according to Merrill Lynch analysts quoted in the Financial Times on Sunday. Sony has indicated a spring launch for its console in Japan and the industry is not expecting a North American launch until November, the FT said.

But Hitoshi Kuriyama of Merrill Lynch in Japan said there are reports that the PS3 could be delayed by between six and 12 months, meaning an autumn launch in Japan and a late 2006 or early 2007 launch in the US, the FT said. Merrill Lynch analysts in San Francisco have estimated that the initial bill of materials for PS3 could approach $900, falling to $320 by three years after launch, the FT said.

Full story: Reuters