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Sony NGP price to match 3DS, expects Codemasters

UK publisher hugely excited by kit - but warns handheld sector is tough

UK publishing and development giant Codemasters has told CVG that it expects the price of Sony NGP (PSP2) to be in line with Nintendo's 3DS in the UK.

Although Nintendo has refused to put a Suggested Retail Price on 3DS in Europe, stores have begun taking pre-orders for the device at around £230 / EURO 240.

Sony premičred its NGP yesterday morning (UK time) in Tokyo. It confirmed impressive technical specs - including a five inch OLED screen.

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"My hope [for the NGP price] is sub £200," Codies CEO Rod Cousens told CVG, "but I suspect something in the £229 - £249 [range] to be more likely."

Cousens claimed that Sony had "[learnt] the lesson of over-engineered hardware" with the first PSP, and suggested that NGP's more social capabilities may give it a stronger footing in the market.

Following NGP's reveal, Sony yesterday clarified that the console would arrive over multiple SKUs. All will have WiFi connectivity, but only one - almost certain to be the most expensive - will also house 3G.

Sony also unveiled PlayStation Suite at its Tokyo event - which will allow its games to be played on Android mobile devices.

Cousens added: "The portable segment is highly contested beyond traditional hardware vendors, so to succeed is no small task.

"Sony knows the lesson of over-engineered hardware and high software development costs only too well - so the more interesting aspect is NGP's eco-system and infrastructure.

"The crossover network and Playstation Suite might be well heeded by the young pretenders in the space; they could well find they have a fight on their hands in getting noticed, and the stakes are rising.

"It's all to play for and reputation, past glories and technological superiority are not guarantees for leadership."

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