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The Handheld Game Console Battle Begins.
Contributed by: G3nu1n3, at 11/21/2004 03:57:00 PM.

It's the fight computer gamers have been waiting for. But the latest duel between wise old master Nintendo and challenger Sony is not taking place on a TV screen.

This real-life fight begins on Sunday and pits Nintendo against Sony Computer Entertainment. Their weapons of choice: for Nintendo it's the DS (Dual Screen) and for Sony, the PSP (PlayStation Portable).

Nintendo has effectively owned the portable gaming space with its Game Boy for the last several years but that position is now facing a threat. Sony is attempting to do with the PSP what it did in the console gaming space with the PlayStation: enter as a newcomer and ascend to the top position.

The console fight played out in the latter half of the 1990s--a time when Nintendo and Sega dominated the console gaming market with positions that seemed unassailable. Like a fast-action move in one of its video games, Sony went for the jugular of both companies and in the end only Nintendo was left standing. Sega was ousted from the hardware side of the market in 2001 and earlier this year announced it was merging with Sammy, a Japanese Pachinko pinball machine maker.

The DS is a clamshell device that unfolds to reveal a pair of 3-inch LCD screens, one of which is touch-sensitive. Together with a microphone that's embedded into the device, Nintendo is hoping the two will add new angles to game-play by allowing feedback by touch and voice in addition to using the control pads.

Whereas ...

Sony has promised to launch the PSP in the U.S. before the end of March, but in Japan it will go on sale on December 12, less than two weeks after Nintendo launches the DS there. Sony has already been showing it to prospective users.

The PSP is easy to hold, with control pads located either side of its bright, wide-screen 4.3-inch display. Sony is promising users all of the performance of the PlayStation 2 console but in a handheld form.



View: Nintendo DS
View: Playstation Portable


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