As this week’s news rounds out, it’s only appropriate to begin the final churn of stories with something about Sony’s next portable, the NGP. Thursday’s press conference in Japan showcased the device with a release date of Holiday 2011. It appears that the release date written in Japan was specifically meant for Japan.
Jack Tretton, CEO of SCEA, told Engadget that the Sony will probably only launch the handheld in one territory by the calendar year’s end. Seeing that the press conference was held in Japan, it seems obvious that the territory in question will be Japan. Once one considers the great success Sony has had in the land of the rising sun when it comes to their previous portable, this move makes sense.
Tretton elaborated on the company’s perspective by explaining that global launches are challenging when advanced technology is involved.
When you’re dealing with new technology, there’s always challenges you didn’t anticipate…There’s a ton of new technology, but I think we’ve been about reaching beyond the status quo and delivering technology that people couldn’t even envision, and with that comes risk.
And just like Andy House of SCEE explained Sony’s trepidation when it comes to affordability and profit margins yesterday, Tretton went on to add that Sony’s learned their lesson from the PS3. Tretton cited the console’s trying launch. The unit was in extremely short supply, and Sony worked hard to meet demand for the product at all costs.
This time around, Sony will focus on a single territory at a single time. If the NGP does not release outside of Japan before 2011 ends, some gamers will likely turn to Nintendo’s new handheld as a substitute. While it certainly doesn’t mean everything in terms of long term sales, typically the hardware that launches first enjoys more success. The 360 launched before the PS3, that’s part of the reason it sold more than Sony’s unit for a while.
Will that make all the difference when it comes time for gamers to pick their handheld of choice? Forums and comment sections around the net are already starting to show a natural schism in allegiance amongst fans. There are those that love what the NGP is bringing to the table, and then there are those that can’t wait to dive into the world of glasses-free 3D. It’s all about personal preference.
Regardless, it looks like Sony’s announced the NGP really early. Gamers in Japan are looking at around 11 months of waiting before the system launches for them. The rest of the world? Fans will need to steady themselves with patience.
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