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Thursday, October 05, 2006
Sony to keep PSP price in '06, sees 110 more games

Sony does not expect to cut the U.S. price of its PSP handheld game system for the rest of 2006, and the number of available games will nearly double to about 230 in that time, Sony said on Thursday.

Sony introduced the PSP, or PlayStation Portable, in 2005 in a bundled package that included several accessories and has sold some 5.5 million units in the United States. Currently it sells the device for $200 without some original add-ons, as well as a $250 package including the device, a movie and a memory card.

"We don't necessarily see the need to cut the price," John Koller, a product manager at Sony Computer Entertainment, told Reuters. "We need to offer broader value and introduce new consumers to what the PSP can do."

PSP -- which offers interactive video games, digital music and video and lets users surf the Web -- faces a tough challenge in the market for pocket-sized media devices such as Nintendo's DS and Apple Computer Inc.'s (AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research) iPod. Critics have suggested a a dearth of compelling games has hurt demand.

But Koller says there will be about 110 new titles available by the end of 2006, bringing the roster to about 230. Moreover, Koller added that since the PSP is a diverse system, with the ability to play games, download video and enjoy media, its does not compare directly to the other handheld systems.

He added that Sony would soon detail how the PSP would integrate with Sony's highly anticipated next-generation game console, the PlayStation 3, which is due in November.

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