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March 23, 2005

Sony bets big on release of new PSP handheld game console

In a bid to reinvent itself as a leader in the consumer electronics industry, Sony has released its long-anticipated Playstation Portable, a hand-held device that is expected to project the Japanese firm into the portable console spotlight currently dominated by rival Nintendo.

By CBR Staff Writer

The Sony PlayStation Portable, or PSP, is a pocket-sized gadget that is dominated by a color video screen which accommodates movies and three-dimensional computer games. It also has Wi-Fi capabilities and allows users to listen to music and view photos.

Sony’s management is hoping the new entertainment system, known as PSP, will be able to better compete with the low-cost Apple iPod and Nintendo’s newest addition, the dual-screen DS. Reports have suggested the anticipated take-off of the product is being viewed as an opportunity to enable the company to concentrate on the overhaul of its electronics and movie businesses.

Games publishers, meanwhile, are also anxious to exploit the emerging home devices market by transferring their titles to the PSP. It is their wish, according to speculation, that it will generate a new audience which will appreciate the ability to play games on the move through a widescreen device.

Retailers are putting estimates of initial sales in the millions. It would appear that the only problem Sony now faces is whether it can meet the demand and live up to heightened expectations.

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