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About Judy

As WP's senior editor, I edit review and preview articles, attempt to keep up with the frantic pace of Rainier's news posts, and keep our reviewers on deadline, which is akin to herding cats. When I have a moment to myself and don't have my nose in a book, I like to play action/RPG, adventure and platforming games...

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Sony Eyes March Launch of PSP in U.S. and Europe

by Judy on Jan. 5, 2005 @ 8:25 a.m. PST

Sony will likely launch its new PlayStation Portable hand-held game console in North America and Europe in March, a top executive said on Wednesday. Sony has previously only said it will start selling the PSP, which can also play movies and music, in Europe and North America between January and March.

The company launched the PSP on Dec. 12 in Japan, where it sells for 19,800 yen ($190). It shipped about 510,000 units by Dec. 31 and aims to ship 3 million units worldwide by March 31.

"It will probably be March," Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) president and CEO Ken Kutaragi told reporters at a gathering of business executives, responding to a question on when it would start selling the PSP in the U.S. market.

A spokesman at SCE, the company's game arm, said it would be giving a presentation on the PSP to reporters in Las Vegas later in the day at a site close to a Consumer Electronics Show.

"We'd like to launch in Europe during March as well. You've got Easter," Kutaragi said, referring to the Easter holidays in late March.

Sony hopes to pose a serious challenge in the portable game market to Nintendo (news - web sites) Co. Ltd. (7974.OS), which helped to pioneer the format with its Game Boy products.

Nintendo launched its latest handheld model, the Nintendo DS, in the United States on Nov. 21 and in Japan on Dec. 2.

It expects launch the DS in Europe in March and aims to ship 5 million units of the gadget -- which is the size of a paperback book with two screens and a wireless connection -- worldwide by March 31.

Kutaragi said sales of the PSP were very strong but that it would be a challenge for Sony to beat its 3 million unit shipment target due to difficulty in procuring enough key components such as advanced semiconductors.

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