PS3 Countdown: Sony Exec on Those Pesky Blue Laser Diodes

Posted Thu Nov 9, 2006 at 05:02 AM PST by
blue laser diode

With just over over a week to go before the Blu-ray enabled PlayStation 3 finally hits stores in the U.S. and Japan, the VP in charge of the game console is talking about the rocky road to launch, and -- in particular -- those pesky blue laser diodes.

In a wide ranging interview with game industry site Next Generation, Sony exec Jack Tretton said this about the blue laser diode, which has been blamed for the game console's most recent round of delays and reduced initial shipment estimates:

"I’m like everybody else. I’m saying 'come on! Just build 'em, man! What's so complicated?' But think about what that blue laser diode has to do. It has to read audio CDs, standard DVDs, Blu-ray DVDs, PlayStation 1 games, PlayStation 2 games, and PlayStation 3 games. Six completely different formats that have nothing to do with each other and you're going to have one device that’s going to read all those.

That’s a tremendous concept. But when you turn to the engineers and say 'go build that for me,' they ask 'are you crazy?' But they’ve managed to pull it off. We've got the blue laser diode's yield now. Okay, it's not necessarily where we'd like to be but it will get exponentially healthier as we go forward."

Tretton says that production of the much in demand diode is increasing by the day -- good news not only for the legions of gamers hoping to get their hands on a PS3 this holiday season, but also for the manufacturers of stand alone Blu-ray players, which have seen a series of recent delays, also said to be caused by the shortage of diodes.

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Tags: Sony, Hardware, PlayStation 3 (all tags)