It seems that the worst fears of PlayStation 3 fans were realized today when Midway announced that it does not expect the PS3 version of Unreal Tournament 3 to ship until some time during the first quarter of 2008. As we reported earlier, Mark Rein has been careful to set expectations surrounding the estimated ship date of both the PS3 and PC versions of UT3.
Word of the delay came from Midway CEO David Zucker during an investor conference call. Despite Zucker’s announcement, Rein said in a statement that Epic was still working hard to get the PS3 version of UT3 completed before the end of the year.
Questions were asked about the exclusivity of UT3 on the PS3 platform and whether the delay would narrow this window of exclusivity; the answer provided was that UT3 will still enjoy a window of exclusivity prior to announcement and release on the Xbox 360. No indication was given on how long the UT3 PS3 exclusive console release window would last.
When questioned about the delay, Zucker said that problems getting the UT3 engine up and running on the PS3 console were responsible for the delays. The problems with the UT3 engine on the PS3 console have also caused delays in Midway PS3 titles “BlackSite” and “Stranglehold,” which use the UT3 engine.
The good news, if you are looking to play UT3 on the PC platform, is that Zucker confirmed that the PC version of UT3 is on track and the delay of the PS3 version would not affect the PC version, which is still expected to ship in early November. Rein has continued to warn fans that the release date of the PC version is also subject to change. Still, the news from Zucker that we should expect UT3 for PC to meet the target release date should be viewed as encouraging.