Sony admits 200 titles won't work on PS3


TOKYO -- Sony has admitted that some 200 of the 8,000 titles designed for the previous PlayStation game consoles have glitches that make them inoperable on the newly launched PS3.

The problem is the latest in a long line to have plagued the third-generation console, which went on sale Saturday in Japan, despite assurances that it will be compatible with the earlier versions. Gamers in the U.S. will be able to purchase the PS3 on Friday, although an identical problem is expected to exist.

"It's basically not a problem of the quality of the product and we expect to be able to improve the situation with some software updates," said Satoshi Fukuoka, director of corporate communications at Sony Computer Entertainment.

Additional information about the problems with individual games is available on the Sony Web site, which says the glitch with "Biohazard," for example, means that a virtual gun will not fire.

Other titles are experiencing errors in the sound systems and music, as well as problems with moving images.

"It really only affects around 200 titles and is essentially a mismatch between the software and hardware used in the different generations of machines," Fukuoka said.

The news is not good for Sony, which is facing stiff competition from Microsoft's Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii in the run-up to the all-important Christmas season.

That was compounded by production delays that meant a mere 100,000 machines were available for the Japan launch, while 400,000 units will be available in the U.S. The release date for Europe has been pushed back to March.