Japan's Sony will delay the global release of the latest version of its popular "Gran Turismo" car-racing game, which was due in early November, to later this year, officials said Thursday.

Gran Turismo 5 for the PlayStation 3 video-game console was to hit US and European markets on November 2 and Japan the following day, but the release will now be "this holiday season," Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. said.

The delay is due to "production reasons," said Makiko Noda, a spokeswoman for the electronics giant's game unit, without elaborating.

She said it was not clear whether the release would be in time for "Black Friday", the day after US Thanksgiving in late November and considered the biggest shopping day in the United States, the largest market for the game industry.

The Gran Turismo series is one of the biggest money makers for Sony's game business, having sold more than 56 million copies worldwide since its debut in 1997.

The release of Gran Turismo 5 had already been delayed from March this year.

Japanese videogame rival Nintendo last month said that its hugely anticipated handheld 3DS console would miss the key Christmas season, a factor in the company sharply reducing its profit forecast for the year.