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Sony will launch a new version of its PlayStation Portable in Japan on October 16 in a bid to catch up with rival Nintendo’s top-selling DS consoles.

The new PSP-3000 will sport a high-res LCD screen and a built-in microphone. It will be able to be used as a voice-over-IP (VoIP) phone using the Skype service. And Sony hopes to add a GPS receiver or a video service in thefuture.

In Japan it will sell for 19,800 yen (A$215), same price as the current PSP, compared with 16,800 yen ($182) for Nintendo’s dual-screen DS.

Sony has sold more than 10 million PSPs in Japan since the launch nearly four years ago. But in almost the same period the DS has sold 23 million units.

Game console maker Nintendo has lifted its outlook for the financial year, forecasting net profit will climb to US$3.78 billion, 26 percent higher than the $2.76 billion it previously forecast, and nearly 60 percent
higher than its net profit for the last fiscal year.

The console maker believes it can pull further away from Sony and Microsoft in the race for dominance in the global game machine market. The Wii is an especially big hit and the company now expects its sales to rise 42 percent this business year to 26.5 million units. Back in April, it targeted sales of 25 million units.

 

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