NGP launch unaffected by quake after all

Sony spokesperson tells Wall Street Journal that earlier report was "wrong"--and that a region-staggered launch was always in the cards.

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Earlier this week, those awaiting the launch of Sony's Next Generation Portable (NGP) received some bad news. Speaking to the Bloomberg news service, Sony Computer Entertainment America president Jack Tretton said supply-chain disruptions caused by Japan's tragic earthquake and tsunami might delay the handheld's launch in certain territories.

The NGP won't be delayed by the tragic events in Japan, says Sony.
The NGP won't be delayed by the tragic events in Japan, says Sony.

Now, Sony is backtracking from Tretton's comments. The Dow Jones news service (via the Wall Street Journal) quotes a corporate spokesperson as saying that the massive disasters--and subsequent nuclear crisis--won't affect Sony's original launch scheme for the NGP.

"So far we see no impact from the quake on our launch plan," said the spokesperson, before adding the caveat that the company was continuing to monitor the situation. He flatly called the Bloomberg report "wrong."

That said, the Sony spokesperson confirmed that the NGP might not make it to all territories this year after all. He told Dow Jones that when Sony unveiled the NGP at a gala event in Tokyo on January 27, it never said the handheld would launch in Japan, North America, and Europe at once. He said the current plan is to launch the NGP in stages starting at the end of this year. Sony's last handheld, the PSP, launched in Japan in late 2004 before debuting in the US in March 2005 and in Europe in September 2005.

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