Quake delays Apple iPad 2 launch in Japan

Far from the worst news to come out of Japan this week, Apple announced that it will delay the launch of its iPad 2 tablet in that country as it recovers from the earthquake and tsunami and faces the threat of nuclear disaster.

Several video game launches have also been delayed or indefinitely postponed out of respect for those affected by the devastation. According to Wired, three game companies have annouced they will delay or indefinitely postpone the Japanese release of disaster-themed games. The releases of Sega’s Yakuza — known as Ryu Ga Gotoku: Of the End (Like a Dragon) in Japan— and Sony’s Motorstorm: Apocalypse have been delayed. Irem’s Zettai Zetsumei Toshi 4 , known as Disaster Report outside Japan, has been put off indefinitely.

Microsoft’s Dragon Age: Origins and Capcom’s Marvel vs. Capcom 3 have also announced delays for some of their Japanese titles, citing issues with shipping and distribution.

According to Reuters, Apple said its launch delay has nothing to do with disrupted supply lines and everything to do with helping the country as it recovers from the disaster.

“We are delaying the launch of the iPad 2 in Japan while the country and our teams focus on recovering from the recent disaster,” Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris told Reuters. The launch date was originally scheduled for March 25.

Apple has been getting attention since the quake. An e-mail from an Apple employee to Digg founder Kevin Rose said that his Apple store in Tokyo essentially converted into a shelter and wi-fi hub for people trying to contact their families.

Related stories:

How people can help Japanese earthquake recovery

Japan nuclear emergency: Live updates day five

Japan Earthquake: Google launches Japanese Quake Person Finder

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.

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