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Monday, April 05, 2004
No region coding for Sony's portable game device


Sony's forthcoming handheld console will follow the example of the Game Boy Advance and feature no region coding for its games. However, pressure from Hollywood means that movies distributed on UMD discs for the device will still have to be region locked.

Due to the fact that portable game devices travel with the user, this makes it nessecery to be region-free and support software that is available in other countries.

Speaking more generally about the forthcoming handheld platform, the release of the new system is not intented to be just an attempt to replace Nintendo's Game Boy Advance. There are so many other features such as GPS or GPRS giving an other perspective in portable game devices.

Regarding the power of the handheld, at present it lies somewhere between Sony's existing console systems - although the hardware in the device is very similar to the PS2 in its capabilities, and as such, the games on the platform will evolve as it progresses.

The first PSP software was [shown off at GDC] last week, and the device is set to make its public debut at E3 in mid-May. The physical appearance of the system is a closely guarded secret, and few if any developers have even seen pictures of the system.


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