By any reckoning, the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan were humanitarian tragedies on a massive scale. However, the twin disasters--and subsequent nuclear crisis--have also created a massive logistical nightmare for Japanese industry, causing many companies such as Toyota and Honda to shutter factories.
Unfortunately for gamers, another one of the companies affected is Sony. The electronics giant has also temporarily shut down several plants in Northern Japan for repairs, as well as others in other regions because of parts shortages.
As a result, Sony's forthcoming portable, the NGP, could be delayed, according to Sony Computer Entertainment America president Jack Tretton. Speaking with Bloomberg, the executive said the industrial disruption might lead to a postponement of the handheld's launch in some territories.
"It may be the straw that says 'Maybe we get to just one market by the end of the year,'" he told the financial news service. He added that a later launch could have the benefit of allowing publishers an extended development period for their NGP launch titles.
Announced at an event in January, the NGP had been scheduled to be released this holiday season in undisclosed territories. The handheld boasts a 16:9 5-inch OLED touch screen, a multi-core ARM CPU, a PowerVR multi-core GPU, a touch pad, dual thumbsticks, and gyroscopic control, and will come in Wi-Fi-only and 3G models. Sony's head of worldwide development, Shuhei Yoshida, said in a GameSpot interview that "It's closer to PlayStation 3 [than the PSP was to the PS2]," in terms of processing capabilities. Sony has said the goal is to make it as easy as possible for developers to bring their assets and programming techniques from the PlayStation 3 over to the NGP.