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Confusion over PSP tax in California

Sony claims no "E-waste" fee is necessary but state officials still seem unsure.

Following confusion over a California recycling law, Sony has stated that residents will not have to pay more for their PSPs - but local government officials still don't seem to have made up their minds.

US website kotaku first broke the story, observing that the state's Electronic Waste Recycling Act could apply to the handheld. Under the act, all devices with an LCD screen measuring four inches or more must come with a $6 environmental hazards fee to cover the cost of disposal.

Retailers seemed to be unaware of the law, and of the fact that they could be fined $25,000 for failing to comply. In addition, a fine of $2500 - $5000 could be levied for every PSP sold without the $6 fee attached.

However, a spokesman for California's Waste Management Board has since said the law does not apply to the PSP - although it has a 4.3 inch screen - as the law was written up in 2004 and does not mention the machine. But another board representative has since told Kotaku that this is irrelevant, and that the $6 fee should indeed be levied.

Adding to the confusion comes a statement from Sony Computer Entertainment America, who disagree. Speaking to website 1up, SCEA representative Patrick Seybold said: "We are not currently required to collect a fee as PSP is a dedicated display device, not a separate computer monitor or CRT display."

State officials are expected to issue a definitive statement shortly. Until then, with the launch of the PSP only hours away, the confusion continues.