European PSP Launch Pushed to Sept.

Eager gamers in Europe will have to endure a long wait to get their hands on Sony's PlayStation Portable handheld, which won't hit store shelves until September 1. Sony confirmed a delay in March citing allocation issues, but the PSP was still expected to launch in Europe this summer.

Stores in many European countries have been showing off the PSP in window displays for months and even taking pre-orders for the device. It's not clear how retailers will react to the new release date that is scheduled over five months after the PSP's debut in the United States.

Some wily European consumers have turned to alternative means to obtain a PSP. According to accounts, gamers in London are buying from "grey market" retailers where the imported Japanese versions fetch as much as three times the retail price.

Sony staggered the PSP's launch around the world in order to ensure it could meet demand. The company sold out of the device in Japan and in response prepared 1 million PSPs for the United States alone. Following the U.S. launch on March 24, Sony did not empty its stockpiles, but sold over 500,000 units in the first two days.

Like its U.S. counterpart, the European PSP will come in a value pack priced at 249 euros, which includes stereo headphones, 32MB Memory Stick Duo, battery and charger, wrist strap, and soft carrying case. Customers in Europe won't receive SpiderMan 2 in the box, but can order the flick free of charge when registering their PSP online.

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