updated 03:35 pm EST, Mon February 28, 2011
PS3 faces European ban after LG preliminary win
Sony encountered a major setback on Monday after LG landed a preliminary injunction banning the PlayStation 3 from sales in Europe. A civil court in The Hague ruled that any PS3s imported into the continent have to be confiscated by government officials for at least the next 10 days. The Guardian claimed that the Netherlands, often a point of import for all of Europe, had already taken "tens of thousands" of PS3s and that Sony stood to see hundreds of thousands of the consoles blocked from reaching shelves.
LG is embroiled in a patent dispute over Blu-ray that has extended worldwide, including Europe and the US, and has used the PS3 as a leverage tactic to push for a settlement. The complaint itself was a response to Sony suing LG over phone patents.
A quick settlement may be essential for Sony to avoid a crisis. Although its claim is unconfirmed, the newspaper had heard that Sony might have just two to three weeks of PS3s in stock in Europe before it runs dry. If it couldn't lift the injunction, it could see the Wii and Xbox 360 take a commanding lead in European gaming once customers have no choice but to buy from Microsoft or Nintendo to get a modern console.
Sony wouldn't officially comment beyond saying it was investigating the causes beyond the ban.