Thu, Jul 20, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Asustek to ship PS3 consoles: report

CONFIDENTIAL The company said that it may take legal action against a Chinese language newspaper that made public information affecting clients and investors

STAFF WRITER , WITH BLOOMBERG

Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦), the nation's largest computer motherboard maker, may have begun shipping PlayStation3 (PS3) consoles to Sony Corp, soothing concerns that sales of the player would be delayed, it was reported yesterday.

The report said Asustek this month would begin shipping 200,000 PlayStation3 consoles per month, rising to 2 million in October, allowing Sony to debut the PS3 in November, the Chinese-language Commercial Times said yesterday, without saying where it got the information.

Shares of Asustek Computer were up NT$1.00 at NT$75.00 (US$2.27) on the report. The company is the only appointed contract maker for the PS3 game consoles to date.

The Taipei-based company declined to comment on the report, citing confidentiality agreements it has signed with its clients.

"I cannot have any comment about this," said David Chang (張偉明), a spokesman for Asustek.

But in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange later yesterday, Asustek said it may take legal action against the newspaper to protect its clients and investors if their interests were damaged by the report.

"If this report is true, then it would lower some of the concern that the PS3 would not sell on time in November," said David Gibson, an analyst for Macquarie Securities, in a telephone interview from Tokyo. "There's a lot of skepticism that the PS3 will be successful, and that it will even launch on time. We believe it will be on time."

SinoPac Securities (建華證券) said on its Web site that the launch of PS3 will create some pressure on Microsoft Corp's Xbox 360 console, of which Wistron Corp (緯創) accounts for 50 percent of shipments, it said.

"We have said we will start assembling the consoles in Japan and China from summer," said Daisuke Nakata, a spokesman for Sony Computer Entertainment Inc, a division of Sony.

Asustek's main production facility is in Suzhou, China, Chang said, declining to confirm that the PS3 was being made there.

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