According to MCV sources, third-party licensees are adamant that the NPG will be released in Europe this year, despite concerns to the contrary.

Development deadlines are said to have been set to ensure key Western titles are completed before the end of the summer, for a roll-out in the autumn.

Online leaks suggest a launch on Friday, November 11.

Earlier this year Sony's Kaz Hirai stated that the NGP will "begin rolling out this year," but didn't specify in which territories. This fuelled rumours that the new handheld would hit Japan in 2011, with North America and Europe potentially having to wait until 2012.

The situation was worsened when SCEA boss Jack Tretton said it was Sony's goal to "get at least one territory out by the end of holiday 2011".

Japan was the obvious thought, but these new reports suggest the rest of the world could be looking over at Europe with some jealously come the autumn.