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Sony and Microsoft Battle Again

Techstination feature for Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Sony and Microsoft battle again. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. The smoke is clearing from the E3 video game industry trade show... with Sony announcing it will bundle a modem this summer with its PlayStation2 console... and Microsoft firing back with a 20 dollar price cut on the Xbox. The Xbox has been outsold by the PlayStation2 by about 6 to 1, but Microsoft is hoping to gain ground by enhancing its Xbox Live service..enabling voice chat even when games aren't being played... and allowing users to send messages to cell phones and computers inviting others to play. And group product manager David Hufford says a new add on will turn the Xbox into a music player and Karaoke machine...

"It comes with a microphone for 39.95 and what Music Mixer allows you to do is sing karaoke to any of your favorite digital music tunes. We really allow you to store all your digital music and all your digital photos on Xbox and allow you to sing to any of those songs and let a visualization of your favorite photos come to life on the TV screen while you're singing."

If you haven't purchased one of the new game consoles already, the head of Electronic Arts is predicting the prices will fall to 150 dollars by the holiday season. It won't arrive this year, but Sony has served notice that it will ship a handheld game machine by the end of next year to challenge Nintendo's Game Boy Advance. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.