Although it was expected in time for a holiday release, Sony's Next Generation Portable could be delayed due to the disaster in Japan.
According to Bloomberg, Sony's CEO and president for computer entertainment, Jack Tretton, said that the global launch for the NGP will be scaled back to "a single region this year instead of starting sales in Asia, Europe or the U.S. in time for the end-of-year holiday shopping season."
It's no surprise that production problems are the cause, and the PlayStation Portable 2 certainly isn't the first product launch or shipment to be deterred by the quake and tsunami last month. From the very beginning, Internet service, data centers and cloud services were in jeopardy. Texas Instruments' manufacturing site in Japan suffered damage and even battery production is looking uncertain. Even the iPad 2 shortage is being partially attributed to part production delays in Japan.
Bloomberg points out that Sony's biggest competitor when it comes to handheld gaming consoles, Nintendo, is still far ahead, especially now with the success of the 3DS. It's true that Sony has a long way to catch up, but things could change drastically by the time the NGP is finally released. The Xperia Play, a.k.a. the PlayStation Phone, will also be released this year. Together, these gaming gadgets could push Sony ahead of Nintendo by next year.
Related coverage on ZDNet:
- Sony Music Unlimited headed to PSP, NGP and Xperia Play
- Sony's NGP (Next Generation Portable): The PSP2 (photos)