The first suggestion that Sony may be forced to delay the launch of PSP has come from Sony Computer Entertainment network systems boss Izumi Kawanishi, who told a Japanese publication that the schedule depends on game publishers.
Speaking in an interview with Impress Watch AV, Kawanishi said that it is still possible that the console will be released this year in Japan, but that this depends on whether game publishers will have software ready for launch.
This is the first time that anyone within Sony has voiced any doubt over the launch schedule for the unit, although several analysts and media commentators have expressed concern over the launch timetable, especially in light of the system's public debut at the Tokyo Game Show last month.
Much of the software shown there appeared to be very incomplete, with some analysts pegging most the titles on display at around 60 to 75 per cent completion - suggesting that they may not be ready until next year, thus missing the planned Q4 2004 launch of the device.
Kawanishi also confirmed that development of the PlayStation Portable began directly before the system was announced at E3 2003, meaning that the console has been developed in only 18 months - an ambitious timetable which would go some way towards explaining why developers are having difficulty preparing titles in time for launch.
In the same interview, Kawanishi explained a little more of the planned functionality for the device - which will appear as an external drive when connected to a PC with a USB cable, allowing users to drag and drop MP3 or ATRAC3 music files and JPEG images directly onto it.
More information available at www.gamesindustry.biz