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Nintendo preps DS media module

Add-on to bring PSP-like movie, music playback to console

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Nintendo's DS looks certain to outsell Sony's PlayStation Portable, but Nintendo is clearly so worried about its rival that it is already announcing an upgrade that will bring PSP-style music and movie features to its own handheld console.

Next February, Nintendo will ship an add-on module that provides music and video playback, the company said today. The ¥5000 ($48) adaptor will work with any MPEG 4 video and MP3 audio files stored on a DS memory card.

Sony always touted the PSP as a mobile media unit as well as a games console, whereas Nintendo, as you'd expect from its previous efforts in the handheld gaming arena, has always focused on portable play. Interestingly, the addition of the new adaptor will not only bring to the DS the kind of media support the PSP enjoys, but will up its effective price to that of the PSP. In Japan the DS retails for around ¥15,000, the PSP for ¥19,800.

Nintendo launched the DS in Japan on 2 December - ten days before Sony's PSP went on sale in that country. The DS is already on sale in the US, though the PSP is unlikely to ship officially over there much before the end of Q1 2005. That's the anticipated timeframe for both consoles' European debuts. ®

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