As a result of the recent earthquake in Japan, the NGP handheld may not make the holiday 2011 release window worldwide. "It may be the straw that says 'maybe we get to just one market by the end of the year,'" SCEA president Jack Tretton told Bloomberg, suggesting that Sony may opt to stagger production of the handheld and release it in just one territory this year. According to Bloomberg, damage from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami has slowed Sony's production line by forcing the closure of "several" factories in northern Japan. Sony's plan as of January was already to have the handheld out in "at least one territory" by holiday 2011. It's just more likely to be just one now.

Of course, we hope we can all agree that the people of Japan have more important things to worry about right now than rushing out video game hardware. On the upside, Tretton brought up the point that increased time before release will allow developers to put more work into their launch games.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.