updated 07:05 pm EDT, Mon April 4, 2011
Sony NGP may intro in one area due to quake
Sony's US PlayStation president Jack Tretton said Monday that the NGP might have to have a limited launch due to the Tohoku earthquake in Japan. Production and supply issues could limit the late 2011 release to one area, such as Japan or North America, instead of a simultaneous launch. He wouldn't tell Bloomberg which area that would be.
The original PSP launched first in Japan in 2004 but came at a time when Sony's home country was still considered more vital than the North American market. The US and Canada have since grown in importance. Nintendo has still followed a traditional launch pattern and brought the 3DS to Japan first, in late February, before shipping it to North America a month later.
Sony has every incentive to get the NGP out quickly to regain its chance at competing in mobile gaming. Nintendo has been dominating the PSP through the lower pricing and overall better game library of the DS, but Sony has increasingly had to face competition from Apple. The iPod touch and iPhone have gutted PSP sales by offering a more modern, smaller, but more flexible device whose games often cost less than a quarter that of a PSP game. Sony has insisted the hardware game controls provided a better experience but hasn't had a chance to overcome complaints about convenience.
The NGP will fix many of the complaints with optional 3G for always-on data, a much newer interface designed to account for Internet access, and very powerful hardware that includes a quad-core processor and a five-inch OLED touchscreen.