Amid all of the fervor over the launch of Sony's PSP unit in Japan during the past few days, some interesting comments came out of Sony Computer Entertainment with regards to their short-term plans for the unit.
Numerous major news sources are reporting that Sony executives have voiced plans to ship approximately 3 million PSP units worldwide by March 31, 2005. While no firm date for the unit's release in the United States or Europe has been set yet, it seems highly unlikely that the company would be able to sell 3 million PSP's in the Japanese market alone (even factoring in aftermarket imports) during such a short time frame. The only logical conclusion to glean from the company's sales forecasts are that the unit will indeed ship to other countries sometime in the first quarter of 2005.
March has been rumored as a date for a few weeks now, and these reports only add fuel to that supposition. Additionally, major retailers EB Games and GameStop have begun to accept pre-orders for the PSP in their stores. For as little as $20 down at EB Games or $50 down at GameStop, you can get in line to buy a PSP, despite the fact that no official date has been set.
So, while Sony has yet to drop an official date, they've certainly given us hints as to when we can expect to see PSP in English-speaking countries.