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Key Japanese publishers sign on for PSP

November launch likely to be pushed back.

Several of Japan's biggest software companies are committed to supporting Sony's PlayStation Portable at or near its launch, according to an article in Famitsu - which also casts doubt on the planned November global launch.

Speaking to the magazine, SCE vice president Saeki Masatsuka stated that the system will launch in mid-December 2004, not November as was originally planned, and as was stated by Sony Europe boss Chris Deering earlier this week. No comment was made on launch plans for the rest of the world, or whether this slight slippage would affect plans for a near-simultaneous global launch.

Saeki-san also steered clear of mentioning anything regarding the pricing of the system, although comments from major Japanese electronics retailers recently have pointed at a price point in the 50,000 Yen range - around €350, or £250.

Namco, Capcom, Konami and Koei all plan to have titles available for the system at launch, alongside SCE's own first-party titles - some of which may be previewed at E3 in May, although they are not expected to be shown in anything other than video form.

Sega is expected to announce its plans for the platform in Autumn, which suggests that it will show its PSP software at the Tokyo Games Show, and it is also expected to provide software for the launch window of the system.

Rumours from Japan suggest that Square Enix, which has been coy about revealing its level of support for PSP, will also show software at TGS next Autumn. Although the company is known to be planning to port existing software to the platform, it's not known whether it will support the platform with original software titles as well.

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