PSP 2 may not appear until 2012 due to Japan’s earthquake
The earthquake and tsunami in Japan has understandably affected the manufacturing of certain tech components. One of the most high profile so far has been Kureha Corp. which manufactures a PVDF polymer used in small devices like the iPod touch. It cannot get the materials it needs at the moment due to a local port being destroyed so it can’t manufacture PVDF. The knock-on effect of that is Apple may run out of iPod batteries.
Looking longer term and you realize that manufacturing downtime could also impact the launch of new devices too. The PSP 2 is no exception, and even though a launch isn’t expected until November, Sony has started warning everyone that we may not see the new handheld released in all markets before the end of 2011. In fact, the PSP 2 may become a product of 2012.
The first comments made about this have come from Jack Tretton, president of Sony Computer Entertainment of America (SCEA). While it’s pretty certain a global launch in 2011 is out of the question now, one region may still get the device in 2011. Whether that’s Asia, Europe, or the U.S. has yet to be decided, though.
The one upside of a delayed launch is more games to play from day one, or at the very least developers of launch games will have more time to test and improve those titles.
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I think if Sony has to pick one region to ship to first it will be the U.S. That of course depends on the state of Japan, and if things are still difficult there it isn’t the right time to launch a new device. Europe is always difficult because of having to split stock between different countries and cater for several languages. So at the moment I think the U.S. is the strongest contender to get the PSP 2 before 2011 is over.
Saying that, I don’t think anyone would complain if the device didn’t appear until 2012 everywhere. Japan has a lot of rebuilding to do, and manufacturing in some areas is going to remain tight. I bet if the 3DS was going to launch in Japan after instead of before the earthquake hit, Nintendo would have delayed the launch by a few weeks or probably months.