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The Arrival of Sony's PSP

Boot Camp feature for Thursday, March 24, 2005

The arrival of Sony's PlayStation Portable. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Sony calls it the PSP, a handheld game machine with built in wireless networking and the ability to play digital music and movies on its wide screen. In fact, Sony Pictures has included a full length version of Spider-Man2 in the 250 dollar package. At this year's Consumer Electronics Show, Howard Stringer, who has since become the first non-Japanese CEO of Sony, told us the PSP has some big advantages over the competition….

"It's WiFi connected, so it's a network device. It's a true convergence device. So it's kind of an all purpose, versatile piece of equipment with first and foremost, a 16 by 9 screen that is better than any image on the market."

Head to head gaming is where the PSP shines. And while movies look and sound great…when you're wearing the included headphones…the question is will consumers want to buy movies in the UMD format? Those movies, which sell for about 20 dollars, can only be played on the PSP. Music and pictures can be stored and played from Memory Stick Duo cards. The machine connects to a PC through a USB port for transferring files. While there is room for improvement, the PSP has a wow factor that is likely to generate considerable demand. Sony's hope is the PSP will help it catch up with Nintendo…in handheld gaming….and with Apple in the portable digital music business. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.