By Carl HoweGame Informer reports that the final development kits for Sony's (SNE) Playstation 3 have been delivered to developers and has some nice pictures of them. It's nice to see these units now in developers' hands. I faulted Microsoft last year for waiting until July to deliver its first development units with final development units to arrive a few months later (i.e., September/October). Sony seems to be ahead of Microsoft's schedule for last year by about a month.
Some of this appears to be a strong risk management program at Sony. There are still a lot of manufacturing pieces that have to come together for Sony to meet its launch schedule for the PlayStation, but Sony appears to have more backup plans than Microsoft (MSFT) did. For example, I remain concerned whether IBM (IBM) can manufacture enough Cell processors, but Sony is also making the parts, so they aren't completely at IBM's mercy for that part.
The high-definition Blu-ray disk drive is also a high-risk part, but by the time PS3 ships, the Blu-ray drives will have been in production for nearly a year, and the software for them will have been shipping for about four months. And Sony recently shipped the 50 gigabyte Blu-ray media, meaning that all the pieces are now in place.
The launch of PS3 in November is by no means a slam dunk; there's still a lot that can go wrong. But from where I sit, Sony's experience in launching products well is starting to show. And combined with what I think will be a killer Christmas season of LCD sales for Sony, that bodes well for Sony's future -- and Sony's stockholders.
SNE 1-yr chart: