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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 September 2005, 09:42 GMT 10:42 UK
Sony's PSP breaks sales records
Image of Sony's PlayStation Portable device
The PSP is billed as a multimedia entertainment device
The Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) has broken records to become the fastest-selling games console of all time in the UK, according to figures.

More than 185,000 were sold in its first four days in UK shops, say official Chart-Track figures.

Rival handheld, the Nintendo DS, sold 87,000 in its launch week in March. The PSP sales account for about 33m.

Sony wants the PSP to appeal to more than just gamers. It also plays films, music, and browses the web wirelessly.

The gadget went on sale in Europe on 1 September, nine months after it hit Japanese stores and six months after the US.

Sony expects a million PSPs to be sold in the UK before Christmas.

Shops across the country opened their doors at midnight last night to deal with the demand from gamers, with many reporting that they had sold out. Chart-Track also reported that nine of the 24 PSP games which were available at launch entered the Top 10 official UK games chart this week.

Topping the chart was Ridge Racer, with one in five people buying the game along with the PSP device.

Thumb competition

In the important run-up period to Christmas, the PSP is up against the giant of the handheld gaming arena, Nintendo, which dominates the portable gaming market.

Image of Ridge Racer for PSP

In November, Nintendo releases a new, smaller version of its popular GameBoy device, called the Micro.

But the PSP is widely touted as a device to appeal to a wider range of people, because it can do more than play games.

Thirty films were available for the device at its European launch, and more titles are on the way. Sony has developed its own discs for films, called UMD.

But Sony has warned PSP owners about a known issue which came to light in the days following the PSP's March launch in the US.

Many gamers returned their devices after the LCD screens appeared to be missing pixels. Sony said in accompanying literature to the device that the "stuck pixel" problem is characteristic of LCD technology.

The PSP went on sale in the UK for 179 (249 euros). In the US, it sells for $249 (138) plus tax.

Five million PSPs have been shipped by Sony since its launch in Japan late 2004 and in the US in March this year. Sony says it expects to ship 13m by March 2006.

See games on the new Sony PSP

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