Sony to delay the PSP

The battle between Sony’s PSP and Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance, which was shaping up to be one of the biggest clashes of the upcoming holiday season, has been pushed to next year. Sony has informed publishers, developers and retailers that while it still plans to launch its handheld gaming and entertainment device in Japan this holiday season, the PSP will not hit shelves in North America or Europe until calendar year 2005.

Sony now hopes that the system will ship globally before the end of Sony’s fiscal year (which ends in March 2005). The delay of the PSP, which Sony Computer Entertainment president and CEO Ken Kutaragi called “the Walkman of the 21st century”, comes as great news for Nintendo, though not necessarily for budget-minded consumers. With no substantial competition, Nintendo will not be forced to lower prices on its GameBoy Advance SP.

Sony has not announced pricing details on the system, but EA CEO Larry Probst last month said the company expects the price to be between $199 and $249.