"...Sony Corp's game-making unit, Sony Computer Entertainment, said on Thursday it would launch a portable version of its older 32-bit PlayStation console in a bid to remain ahead of the pack in the lucrative video game market. The new product -- PSone -- can be connected to mobile phones, allowing users to download game programmes or exchange data with each other, Sony said in a statement.
PSone, priced at 15,000 yen ($142), is one-third the size of the 32-bit PlayStation console which enjoyed runaway sales of some 70 million units in the past five years. But unlike the world's most popular hand-held game player, the Game Boy made by SCE archrival Nintendo Co Ltd , the PSone has to be plugged into an electric power source, largely limiting it to home and automotive use.
PSone sales in Japan will start on July 7 and in the United States and Europe in the autumn. Sony will aim for combined shipments of the older PlayStation and PSone of eight million units per year.
SCE President Ken Kutaragi told a news conference that, although much attention has been showered on Sony's next-generation Playstation2 console launched in March, the PSone breathes new life into the old PlayStation technology by giving it mobility and wireless communications. He added Sony was in talks aimed at connecting PSone with the telecommunications network of NTT DoCoMo , Japan's dominant mobile-phone operator. SCE expects the older PlayStation to be phased out gradually in favour of PSone, which would account for some three-quarters of the eight million units in targeted shipments, Kutaragi added