Sony, Nintendo Unveil New Portable Hardware

Sony and Nintendo each debuted new handheld video-game systems during respective Electronic Entertainment Exposition (E3) press conferences today (May 11) in Los Angeles.

Sony and Nintendo each debuted new handheld video-game systems during respective Electronic Entertainment Exposition (E3) press conferences today (May 11) in Los Angeles.

Sony introduced Playstation Portable (PSP), which allows users to play three-dimensional computer graphic (CG) games on a 4.5 inch LCD screen. The device, which will be available in the U.S. next spring, includes built-in stereo speakers, a USB port and online gaming capacities through Wi-Fi LAN networking.

Nintendo broke out Nintendo DS, the next model of its handheld legacy, which includes Gameboy and Gameboy advance. With its two screens, Nintendo DS features touch-screen input, voice recognition and wireless communication. It is slated to hit the U.S. and Japanese markets before the year's end, slightly before PSP.

PSP adopts a small but high-capacity optical medium Universal Media Disc (UMD), enabling the storage of game software, full-motion video and other forms of digital entertainment. The discs can hold 1.8 GB of digital data.

Sony, which also said it will lower the price of Playstation2 to $149, is planning an aggressive marketing campaign for both the PSP and UMDs. PSP will be compatible with a variety of games from various publishers, including Electronic Arts titles.

Nintendo currently ranks third in console sales behind Sony and Microsoft.
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