Sony PSP console hits UK high streets

Sony’s first handheld games console, the PlayStation Portable (PSP), finally went on sale in the UK this morning after months of delay.

Sony PSP console hits UK high streets

The much-hyped games machine, which also plays films and music, was originally set to go on

sale in Europe in March. But, after supply shortages caused by huge demand in Japan and the US, Sony was forced to postpone the launch to 1 September.

However, gamers hoping to get their itchy fingers on this year’s must-have gadget could still face a long wait. Retailers fear that demand for the £179.99 unit will severly outweigh the number of PSPs to hit British shores.

‘History suggests that the video game market is driven by new technology launches,’ Simon Soffe, spokesperson for retailer Game, told the BBC, ‘We’ve been taking orders for a long time and we expect that demand will outstrip supply, at least initially.’

WHSmith and HMV have also reported that pre-orders swallowed the majority of their first supply.

However, Sony has pledged to supply 1 million consoles to stores by Christmas to avoid disappointment.

The PSP is the first serious contender to both Apple’s iPod and Nintendo’s DS given that it allows users to play games, films and music; take photos and browse the web – all while on the move.

Apple is expected to retaliate with the launch of an all-in-one mobile phone and iPod next month.

Head of Sony Computer Entertainment UK, Ray Maguire, hopes that the PSP will keep competitors at arm’s length for some time.

‘The PSP is in its own space. It delivers so much more than any other device,’ he told the BBC, ‘It’s difficult to see where Nintendo goes from here.’

The PSP comes complete with extras in a special Value Pack. The package includes a protective pouch, Memory Stick Duo (32MB), Battery Pack, Headphones with Remote Control, AC Adaptor, Demo Disk and a Wrist Strap.

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