Many gamers got a bombshell with their morning coffee today when word began to spread that the PSP might--might--not be released until 2005.
In his "Game Over" column today, CNN/Money game-industry correspondent Chris Morris is reporting that Sony has quietly told American and European developers, publishers, and retail outlets not to expect its combination game deck/media player anytime this year.
According to Morris, Sony still plans to launch the PSP in Japan in fall of 2004. The staggering between Sony's domestic and international debuts would be similar to the seven-month gap between the PlayStation 2's Japanese and American launches.
The delay would also mean that Nintendo's controversial dual-screen DS portable won't face any competition if it launches late this year.
After being forwarded Morris' column, a Sony spokesperson responded to GameSpot with the following statement:
"At the opening of Destination PlayStation today, SCEA management confirmed the following:
- PSP launch in Japan will come around the close of calendar year 2004, as previously announced.
- The North American release will follow within our company's fiscal year (2005), which ends March 31, 2005.
- We have received an overwhelming amount of support from the software development community with regard to PSP. In order to ensure that the launch timeframe is well supported, we want to allow developers and publishers sufficient time to optimize content for our new portable entertainment platform. "
When GameSpot pointed out this discrepancy, a Sony spokesperson explicitly confirmed that the PSP release has been pushed back. "Yes, the company adjusted the product launch schedule for the reason stated," said the spokesperson.