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DS is a gimmick, says Sony

Target audience is 'defined' by Pokémon - Harrison

A top Sony executive has dismissed the Nintendo DS as "an irrelevance" when it comes to predicting the success of the PSP, describing the handheld's touch screen feature as nothing more than a "gimmick".

Speaking to trade magazine MCV, VP of studios Phil Harrison said: "The idea of a handheld rivalry with Nintendo is an irrelevance. Those formats don’t appear in our planning."

"It’s not a fair comparison; not fair on them, I should stress. That sounds arrogant, maybe, but it’s the truth."

Harrison went on to state that the DS can't compete with the PSP in the hardware stakes, telling MCV: "It’s fair to say that Nintendo stepped out of the technical race and went for a feature differentiation with the touch screen.

“But I fear that it won’t have a lasting impact beyond that of a gimmick - so the long-lasting appeal of the platform is at peril as a direct result of that.”

“Nintendo knows its target audience, because it has really narrowed that down," Harrison continued. "It’s pretty much defined by a boy or girl’s ability to admire Pokémon."

Sony is anticipating high demand for the PSP when it launches in Europe on September 1, priced at GBP 179.99. However, it remains to be seen whether the machine will overtake Nintendo's handheld to become market leader - more than 6.65m DS consoles have already been sold worldwide, including 300,000 in the UK.

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