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PlayStation Delay Dings Gamers

Sony itself had trouble meeting demand for the PlayStation 2 when it launched the console back in 2000 due to manufacturing delays.

But Sony's problems with that console launch ultimately meant little. The company ended up selling more than 100 million PlayStation 2s and dominated the market. "People expect there are going to be quirks with the launch of any of these consoles," says Lin.

Those "people" extend to the publishers, analysts say.

Sony's problems should have little to no effect on smaller publishers, such as THQ (THQI) and Midway Games (MWY), since they didn't plan on offering any games at the PlayStation 3's launch, noted Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Morgan Securities, in a research report on Wednesday.

Activision (ATVI) and Electronic Arts (ERTS), the two biggest independent U.S. publishers, were planning on having a number of launch titles for the PlayStation 3. But the quantities they were likely to sell, even if Sony met the larger shipment number, were so limited that the overall impact to their holiday-quarter sales is likely to be limited.

For EA, it might amount to sales being about 1% lower than expected and for Activision, a little more than that, Pachter said.

"Although we believe that as a group, the seven U.S. publishers face near-term headline risk from the reduced outlook for PS3 shipments, we believe that the actual financial impact will be relatively small," wrote Pachter, whose firm hasn't done recent investment banking business for any of the major publishers.

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