Simultaneous global 2011 launch for NGP?

Sony: That's going to be "difficult".

European gamers hoping to get their paws on Sony's NGP handheld before the year is out might want to measure their excitement. A simultaneous worldwide 2011 launch is not a foregone conclusion, according to Sony top brass.

Speaking in an interview with Engadget, SCEA chief Jack Tretton explained production logistics could mean not all territories will get to experience the new device this year.

"I think our goal is always to launch holidays when the majority of sales are done," he explained. "You want to have a worldwide simultaneous launch.

"Having said that, this'll be our sixth platform launch, and it's very difficult to have the quantities to be able to launch on a worldwide basis on the same date. So while that's the goal, the reality might be something different.

"I think our goal is, we would get at least one territory out by the end of holiday 2011," he surmised.

Pessimists among you may want to cast your minds back to the PSP launch. Sony's last handheld arrived in Japan in December 2004. European gamers then had to wait until September 2005 to get their hands on it.

Pushed as to when launch plans might be set in stone, Tretton replied, "We probably won't know until fall. You know, I don't know that we'd have more detail for you at E3."

Sony Europe boss Andrew House sang a similarly vague tune when we spoke to him earlier today, merely stating, "It will definitely be on the market within calendar year. That's the intention."

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