Sony NGP PlayStation Portable Followup Could Miss 2011

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The planned global launch of Sony's next-gen PlayStation Portable late this year may be in serious trouble, to hear Sony Computer Entertainment of America president Jack Tretton tell it.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Tretton said the PSP's unnamed successor (codenamed NGP for 'Next Generation Portable') might arrive in just one region this year instead of Asia, Europe, and the U.S. simultaneously. Why? Because of supply chain disruptions caused by the March 11 Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

"It may be the straw that says ‘maybe we get to just one market by the end of the year'," said Tretton, adding that staggering the handheld's introduction "may give game developers in certain regions more time to complete their software."

In the event "maybe" becomes "probably," Tretton won't say which region would get the device first.

None of that bodes well for Sony. Nintendo's 3DS debuted globally between February and March to record sales (see our review of the hardware and eight launch games). Sony's PSP successor was already set to play the back half of the year, but a multi-region holiday delay could drive fence-sitters to snap up Nintendo's handheld in lieu of waiting for Sony's.

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