When SCEA boss, Jack Tretton, mentioned earlier this year that the goal was to get the NGP out in at least one territory by the end of 2011, we naturally assumed it would be Japan.
Sources speaking to MCV think otherwise, with third party licensees insisting that the handheld will be out in Europe by Christmas. It seems that development deadlines for Western releases have been set for the end of summer so that they are ready in time for an end of year release.
If this were to happen it would be an absolutely huge surprise, and would delight Sony fans in the EU. We await an official announcement, hopefully around E3.