Earthquake May Delay NGP

Earthquake May Delay NGP

Jack Tretton, president of SCEA, has admitted that Sony may be forced to delay its PSP successor, codenamed Next Generation Portable (NGP), in some territories due to Japan’s Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.

Sony has remained cagey about its release plans for its new portable, refusing to commit to launching in more than one major territory during 2011 while insisting that a worldwide launch remains its target. The widespread disruption caused by the worst earthquake to hit Japan in recorded history may finally force its hand.

“It may be the straw that says: ‘Maybe we get to just one market by the end of the year’,” Tretton said, noting that a delay would give developers more time to finish work on the first generation of NGP software.

Shortly after NGP was revealed at a Tokyo event in January, Tretton admitted Sony’s vague release plans – all it had said upon unveiling the device was “holiday 2011” – was “rather ambiguous, and that’s for a reason. I think our goal is always to launch [during the] holidays when the majority of sales are done. You want to have a worldwide simultaneous launch.

“Having said that…it’s very difficult to have the quantities to be able to launch on a worldwide basis on the same date. So while that’s the goal, the reality might be something different. I think our goal is, we would get at least one territory out by the end of holiday 2011.”

Should Sony manage to cope with the disruption to NGP production and release worldwide, it would be a first for the company. PSP took nine months from its Japanese launch in December 2004 to reach Europe, and while PS3 launched in Japan and North America in November 2006, it was not released in Europe until March 2007.

Source: Bloomberg