Simple fact that x-mas chopping is just around the corner, if SE can roll out up to 1.21 till then, they stand to make profit from PS3 and start charging. If they delay they may suffer as 2012 Spring TERA, and GW2 will be hitting the tarmac and both of those are good competitors. SE needs to step it up, even the solid fan base may start to consider other ventures other wise.
Whether or not it'd be nice to have it in time for holiday release is beside the point.
Pushing 2 major version updates in 3 months, I just don't see that happening.
Also, the PS3 launch has got to be a media relaunch for them. It's not going to happen without advanced warning, hype, a PS3 beta etc. I would love it to be out in time for Xmas, but it's wishful thinking.
If anything, I'd like to see it before the end of Q1/Q2 next year at the earliest.
Edit: To be clear, they can - not - afford to launch for the PS3 before they are ready, and considering we have gotten 0 new info about the PS3 version, I do not think it will be any time in the immediate future.
Why can't they afford to? The games industry is all about the metacritic, if they can get the game up to an acceptable level, start charging again, then launch the PS3 version when existing fans are extremely satisfied with the gameplay, they have a chance to get rid of the big black mark on the game.
But that involves getting the media interested, they need to be at trade shows, launching new teaser trailers with new content like jobs and Garlean invasions, etc. Beyond the big wow factor stuff, they need all of the little polish pieces to be in place, and a more smooth guided experience early game.
Once they launch for the PS3, if things go well, then they can focus on a full fledged expansion, which should be their PC relaunch, a chance to get a good metacritic for a PC release, and then potentially rip away people who are bored of all the new MMOs launching this year, a year to a year and a half later. Edited, Sep 6th 2011 4:25pm by RamseySylph