Taiwan yesterday saw the debut of the long-awaited Sony Corp PlayStation 3 (PS3), along with the US and Hong Kong, after the game consoles were introduced in Japan last weekend.
All 300 units allocated for the first-sale promotion in Taipei were snapped up a day before the event started.
"I will take a nap after such a long wait, and then play it for at least 24 hours," said a 32-year-old surnamed Liao, who was the first in the queue waiting outside the Sony store at Ximending in Taipei.
PHOTO: LO PEI-DER, TAIPEI TIMES
He called eight other friends to join the line at 5am on Wednesday, some traveling from southern Taiwan to get their hands on the first-batch of machines.
Though queue numbers were intended to be distributed on Thursday, hordes of fans lining up outside the store in the rain prompted Sony to distribute numbers earlier and double the volumes of units to 300.
James Affleck, a 21-year-old Briton currently studying Mandarin in Taipei, attracted attention as one of a handful foreigners lining up for the PS3.
"He he said that he was looking forward to playing the yet-to-be-released Virtual Fighter 5 game.
Tetsuhiko Yasuda, managing director of Sony Computer Entertainment Asia, flew in after the Hong Kong launch earlier yesterday to take part in the Taipei event. He assured local fans that there will be sufficient supplies of the consoles, with the second-batch shipment arriving next Thursday.
"We didn't assign specific volumes for different countries. The amount for Taiwan will be enough as shipments will come in every week," he said, refusing to offer details.
Sony has suffered in meeting its PS3 production and delivery goals due to a component shortage at Nichia Corp, which supplies blue laser diodes for the console's Blu-ray DVD, said researcher iSuppli Corp in a report on Thursday.
There were only 100,000 machines ready in time for the console's debut in Japan last week, with about 400,000 available for the US and 200 for Hong Kong.
Global sales of PS3 will hit two million by the end of next month, and six million by March, Yasuda said.
The 60 gigabyte (GB) PS3 retails at NT$17,980 (US$545) while the 20GB version will be made available next month at NT$14,980.
There are only three game titles for the debut, namely Genji, Ridge Racer 7 and Mobile Suit Gundam.
Microsoft Corp's Xbox 360, which debuted locally in March, sells for US$399 with a 20GB hard drive, while Nintendo Co has not announced a Taiwan launch schedule for its Wii console.
El Segundo, California-based iSuppli believes that as the PS3 uses sophisticated components, it is well worth the price tag as Sony is making a loss on each machine sold which has to be made up with game sales.
"With the PS3, you are getting the performance of a supercomputer at the price of an entry-level PC," the researcher said.
Powered by the new "Cell" computer chip from IBM Corp, and supported by the next-generation Blu-ray video disc format, the console is said to deliver nearly movie-like graphics and a realistic gaming experience.
"While many fret over the high cost and price of the PS3 compared to the competition, we believe the console provides more processing power and capability than any consumer electronics device in history," iSuppli said.
FIVE NEW FABS: An acquisition of Siltronic would boost GlobalWafers’ market share from 17 to 30 percent, easily surpassing Japanese rival Sumco’s 25 percent GlobalWafers Inc (環球晶圓) yesterday said it is in final talks to acquire Germany-based Siltronic AG in a 3.75 billion euro (US$4.5 billion) deal, which might help it compete with its closest rival Sumco Corp of Japan. The acquisition would be the fifth for GlobalWafers since 2008, as it has grown to become the world’s No. 3 supplier of silicon wafers through such deals. GlobalWafers, which has a 17 percent market share, would see its market position greatly elevated to 30 percent when combined with Siltronic’s 13 percent, according to a presentation Siltronic gave to its investors at a quarterly conference in August. Sumco
With the speed cryptocurrency is emerging as the millennial generation’s alternative asset of choice in India, it is hard to imagine that just two years ago a couple of blockchain pioneers were briefly in police custody. Sathvik Vishwanath and Harish BV, cofounders of a then five-year-old start-up, were arrested in late 2018. No, they had not pulled off a shady initial coin offering. Their “crime” was that they put up a kiosk in a mall in Bangalore where customers could swap bitcoin, ether or ripple for cash or vice versa. That was the whole point of unocoin, their crypto token exchange.
CONCERNS: The bank would act if it noticed currency speculation, the governor said, but he did not comment on a likely trajectory of the NT dollar against the greenback The central bank would intervene in the market whenever necessary to help stabilize the New Taiwan dollar, central bank Governor Yang Chin-long (楊金龍) said yesterday, adding that it is concerned Taiwan might be placed on the US watchlist for currency manipulation. The Control Yuan recently sent letter inquiring about the central bank’s market regulation efforts, Yang told a meeting of the legislature’s Finance Committee on the NT dollar’s appreciation and property price hikes. “It is the central bank’s top responsibility to stabilize foreign exchanges,” he said. The central bank has often stepped in toward the end of trading sessions to moderate the NT
Qualcomm Inc expects global shipments of 5G smartphones to more than double to between 450 million and 550 million units next year from this year, driven by increasing 5G network deployment worldwide and broader adoption of 5G technology beyond smartphones, a company executive told a virtual news conference yesterday. The San Diego-based company said that more than five times more telecoms have commercially launched 5G services in the first 18 months of the 5G era, compared with wireless technology transitions to previous generations. The momentum is to pick up speed in 2022, with the shipment volume of 5G-ready smartphones projected to reach