Sony rebuffs PlayStation Portable delay claim

'On target' for Q1 2005 US, Euro launches

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Sony has reiterated its March 2005 US and European PlayStation Portable ship date after an analyst report called that deadline into question.

American Technology Research's PJ McNealy yesterday told investors that he believes the US ship date is "at risk". First, he argues, games developers aren't getting PSP SDKs in time to be able to complete content in time for the launch.

Second, Sony's games subsidiary, Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE), won't find it easy negotiating with the consumer electronics giant's other operations, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) and Sony Music Entertainment (SME), to bring other media content to the platform.

However, Sony today responded to McNealy's report by claiming the company was "on track with the launch timeline disclosed at E3 2004": launch in Japan by the end of 2004, and roll-out in Europe and North America during Q1 2005.

Sony didn't address the analysts' main points, but web site GamesIndustry.biz notes that many developers have been working with enough SDK components to begin work on games. Emulators are currently taking the place of PSP hardware.

As for other content, we'd suggest SCE will be looking beyond Sony's own content companies, in much the same way that Sony's Connect digital music service offers tracks from all the major labels. SPE and SME are not only independent entities but the nature of their material means that SCE was always going to have as much of a job negotiating content licences from them as from any other provider - such is the nature of the multiple ownership of most such material (author/composer, publisher, performer and owner of the actual recording). SCE will surely have assumed as much in its planning. ®

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