Are you excited for the NGP? So are we! From its expansive featureset to its social gaming abilities, and even the renewed focus on downloadable venues--it's definitely a system meant to fulfill the dreams of tech-nuts and gamers alike.
According to a report by Bloomberg, however, ours may be a dream deferred. The same earthquake that has devastated the lives of thousands of Japanese citizens is also hurting the possibility of worldwide launch of the Next Generation Portable. It seems the manufacture of high-tech devices requires not only a ton of delicate R&D, but also components from key factories in areas that may have been affected by the quake. According to SCEA president Jack Tretton, these logistics could be "the straw that says 'maybe we get to just one market by the end of the year.'"
Despite that the message is from Sony America's president, it's almost assured that the market in question would still be Japan. While console launches are often an international thing, all of Sony's handhelds (except the PSPgo) have been released in Japan first.
So while this means a longer wait for consumers, it's an even trickier situation for Sony themselves. They were already looking at competing with a months-wide head start for 3DS games, but now it's looking like there won't even be a challenger in the button-based handheld space this year. Sony fans will still have time to save their dollars, but for those households where the holiday season means someone must have the must-haves, it's now a no-brainer in the gaming category.
Of course, this will also mean those NGP launch titles will have more time for polish, with the possibility of an expanded lineup to make up for the skipped time. So there's at least some silver lining to this delay cloud!
So far, there's no definite word one way or the other about the NGP's launch window, but Sony's probably in the right to keep gamers abreast about the realities of the situation rather than laying all the disappointment out at E3. While I'm sad we won't be playing two new handhelds this year, it's hard not to appreciate their candor!