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THQ studios working on PS3, Xbox 2

And PSP within the next couple of months.

Developers Rainbow Studios and Volition, Inc. are working on early next-generation projects for PS3 and Xbox 2, while owner THQ is expecting to start work on PSP-related product within the next month and a half, president Brian Farrell has revealed in a financial conference call. GameCube 2 was not mentioned.

"We still believe that the next generation will launch in 2006," Farrell told investors yesterday afternoon. "That's our best guess as of today's date. But we're certainly preparing in the event that there is a 2005 launch." As for the PSP, "We expect to start getting some emulators within the next 30 to 45 days," he said. Elsewhere, reports suggest that certain developers have had PSP kits since early September.

THQ second-quarter financial report itself was quite encouraging for the publisher, with revenue up from $97 to $127 million over the three month period culminating in September, although profits were actually down from $4.8 to $3.6 million for the same year, and the company actually made a net loss of $2.5 million on the six months ended September, compared to a profit of $7.1 million the previous year.

In the last quarter, THQ made headlines by becoming the third biggest American publisher and No.1 publisher of handheld games, penned agreements with Warner Bros. (for Christmas 2004 film "The Polar Express"), Sega (for three handheld Sonic titles), Sony (to publish Rainbow's ATV Offroad Fury 2 in Europe) and Microsoft (to publish Rare's handheld titles, including this Friday's Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge), and released a number of games on multiple platforms.