Our sources within the company informed us today that SCEE held company-wide meetings yesterday and today to inform development teams and public relations managers that the European launch of the PSP is now expected to be delayed until late May or early June.
The reasons cited for the delay all harken to the upcoming North American launch of the system. Sony's partners in China and Japan have been working non-stop to manufacture the one million units that are scheduled to ship stateside on March 24th. As a result, manufacturing on the European model of the system isn't scheduled to begin until April.
Another interesting tidbit we learned today concerns how the new handheld will be packaged when it ships in the UK and Europe. Since those markets generally pay more for electronics than Asia and North America do, SCEE plans to make the PSP available in both Value Pack and Standard Pack packaging. That's in line with how the system is sold in Japan, whereas in North America only the Value Pack is being put on sale. In a nutshell, the Value Pack includes a memory card, headphones, carrying case, and screen cleaner in addition to the system and power adapter. The Standard Pack will include only the system and power adapter.