Sony, Ninitendo do handheld combat in new gaming war
Anthony Breznican | May 13, 2004
LOS ANGELES — Sony Corp. showed off a new portable video game device Tuesday
that promises very high-quality graphics, a challenge to market
leader Nintendo Co.
Nintendo's GameBoy Advance has essentially cornered the handheld
market since its debut in 2001. The company has faced down other
portable-game rivals without ceding much of its base - but it has
never gone against a competitor as formidable as Sony, which makes
the video game industry's top console, the PlayStation 2.
Sony's new PlayStation Portable - nicknamed PSP - will play
games on a thin optical disc less than two 2 inches (5 centimeters)
in diameter. Sony is trying to recruit movie and music companies to
adopt the format so PSP owners can use the devices for other forms
The PSP device itself is about the size of a VHS tape, with most
of its face taken up by its display screen.
The system also will feature a port for connection to the
PlayStation 2 console or the Internet and will have the capability
for wireless connections to other players, according to Kaz Hirai,
head of Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.
"PlayStation Portable will allow consumers to enjoy 3-D gaming
similar to the experience delivered on PlayStation 2," Hirai said,
showcasing clips from various PSP games that appeared to back up
Meanwhile, Nintendo Co. pulled back the curtain on its own new
weapon in the handheld war - the Nintendo DS, which stands for
"dual screen" and features two miniature color monitors. Players
can view action simultaneously from two perspectives, avoiding
disruptions in play. A soccer game, for instance, could offer the
entire field on one screen and an individual player's view in
No price was announced for Sony's PSP. It will be available in
Japan by the end of 2004, with plans to release it in the United
States and Europe in spring 2005. Among the promised game titles
for the PSP are "NFL Street" and "NBA Street" and the racing game
"Need For Speed: Underground."
The announcements came on the eve of the annual Electronic
Entertainment Expo, where game companies are showcasing hundreds of
new products. –Sapa-AP
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