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Due to shortage of components and other issues caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Sony Corp. may introduce its next-generation portable (NGP) game console only in one region instead of launching it in all major markets, the company said in an interview.

"The new PlayStation Portable, dubbed "NGP", may be introduced in a single region this year instead of starting sales in Asia, Europe and the U.S. in time for the end-of-year holiday shopping season. It may be the straw that says ‘maybe we get to just one market by the end of the year," said Jack Tretton, president of Sony Computer Entertainment of America, in an interview with Bloomberg.

Mr. Tretton declined to reveal which region will be the priority for the next-generation PlayStation Portable. In the past Sony Computer Entertainment usually launched its game consoles first in Japan, then introduced them in the U.S. and afterwards systems hit the markets like Europe, Australia and so on.

It is also unclear shortage of which components may cause the delay of the introduction. Typically, makers of mass consumer electronics try to use components that can be made at different factories by different companies.

The delay of the NGP will undermine Sony's ability to successfully compete against Nintendo's 3DS game console introduced earlier this year. Nonetheless, it should be noted that shortages of electronics components will be felt across the industry and supplies of Nintendo 3DS may also be reduced. Moreover, the launch of the new PSP in only one region and demonstration of the console capabilities in different markets may also lower popularity of 3DS. Still, any delay naturally causes reputational losses.

“It raises the bar on the competitive issues that Sony is going to have to hurdle. As it is now, it’s already going to be almost eight months behind Nintendo, and a delay could push that to a year," said Edward Woo, a video-games analyst with Wedbush Securities.

Tags: Sony, NGP, Nintendo, 3DS, PSP, Playstation

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