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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 February, 2004, 10:16 GMT
Sony delays Playstation release
Sony Playstation 2
The existing Playstation 2 is a global bestseller
Sony has announced it is to delay the US and European release of the handheld version of its Playstation console.

The much-anticipated new device, called PSP, was set to hit the shelves by the end of this year, but its launch has now been put back to spring 2005.

Sony said it had decided upon the delay because it wanted more time to prepare game software for the handheld unit.

But it said the device would still be released in its Japanese home market in time for Christmas 2004.

Molly Smith, a spokeswoman for Sony America, said the PSP would now be released in the US by March 2005.

Development race

"We want to ensure that the product launch is really well supported and that the development community will have time to optimise content," she said.

"The portable space is a new domain... and we want to ensure that when this thing is launched that we are able to demonstrate what this thing can do."

Sony is more vague for the new European launch date, only saying "early 2005".

Some analysts also predict the Japanese release will also more likely now be delayed until 2005.

"It will be a huge struggle to get something out by Christmas," said Hiroshi Kamide, an analyst at KBC Securities.

New Walkman

The announcement of the delay in the release of PSP will be welcome news for Sony's computer console rival Nintendo.

Nintendo's Game Boy platform currently enjoys a virtual monopoly of the handheld game player market.

When finally released the PSP will be able to play not just games, but also movies and music.

Expectations for its commercial success have been so high in some quarters that it has already been dubbed "the Walkman of the 21st Century", after Sony's then groundbreaking personal cassette player of the early 1980s.




SEE ALSO:
Sluggish PS2 dents Sony profits
28 Jan 04  |  Business
Sony forced to clip PSX's wings
05 Dec 03  |  Technology
How Sony lost its way
28 Oct 03  |  Business
Sony plans massive job cuts
28 Oct 03  |  Business
PlayStation fights falling sales
24 Jul 03  |  Technology


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