Sony braces for NGP launch delays

The effects of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami continue to be felt around the gaming world, as Sony reveals the successor to the PSP may not enjoy a worldwide launch this year, despite original plans.

Sony's shiny NGP

NGP: Screen Image Simulated, apparently

Jack Tretton, president of Sony Computer Entertainment America, has admitted that instead, the Next Generation Portable might be released in only one region. He hints that it will likely be one – and possibly only one – of the US, Japan or Europe.

The delay follows similar concerns over the iPad 2, which launched without issue late last month. The earthquake has caused a number of Japanese factories to close for repair, while third-party suppliers are now unreliable in northern Japan.

Gamers are divided over which region will see the new hardware first, but most are expecting the NGP will be available in Japan before other countries. The PSP first appeared in Japan in December 2004, before hitting North America in March 2005 and taking a further six months to arrive in Europe. The other regions are still possibilities, however, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

This could all blow over – or the new handheld might not actually see a launch this calendar year. With Nintendo launching their new 3DS already this year, Sony really are in an awkward spot, slipping further and further behind the competition.

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