Dec 5, 2001 5:44 AM PT Sony swaps PlayStationOne cables after Dutch move TOKYO--Sony Computer Entertainment Inc said on Wednesday it was replacing peripheral cables for 1.3 million PlayStation One game consoles after the Dutch government blocked sales of the machines on health and environmental concerns.
The Dutch government said on Tuesday it had blocked shipment of the consoles and 800,000 accessories bound for the European Union market in a warehouse in the Netherlands in November because the cables contained too much cadmium.
Sony Computer, the unit of Sony Corp. that makes and sells PlayStation, said on Wednesday it had already started replacing the cables. It hoped to resume limited shipments of the consoles by mid-December, with full supplies as soon as possible.
"Although we have reservations about the interpretation of the regulations (by the Dutch authorities), we have begun replacing the cables," a Sony Computer spokeswoman said.
Sony Computer said that its new PlayStation 2 consoles were not affected by the ruling because they do not use the same peripheral cables.
The company would not replace cables for PlayStation One consoles sold in countries outside Europe if they did not violate environmental regulations in those nations, it said.
Sony Computer also said it would not recall any consoles already sold in Europe as the amount of cadmium in the cables did not in its view pose a health risk to users.
The cadmium contained in the cables only posed a risk if incorrectly disposed of, in which case it could have long-term environmental effects, Sony said.
Within the European Union no goods are allowed to be imported that contain more than 0.01 percent cadmium. The Netherlands said the cables contained between three and 20 times the allowed amount.
A spokesman for the Dutch environment ministry said on Tuesday that large concentrations of cadmium were banned in the Netherlands -- in line with European Union policy -- to prevent it from entering the food chain.
"Cadmium damages the kidneys," spokesman Joost Kehrer said.
Sony Computer did not say how much the cable replacement would cost the company.
The consoles were sold at an average list price of about $89 in Europe, with the price varying from country to country, it said.
The Dutch government on Tuesday estimated the 1.3 million consoles and 800,000 accessories to be worth $162 million.