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The portable play station is the latest craze among today;s youth. These gadgets are addictive and a good pass time.
The audio electronics sector is in a state of flux. The launch of Apple's iPod came as a shock for the Big Daddy of electronics, Sony. Till then the indisputable leader in the audio sector, Sony's dipping market fortunes raised an alarm. The result-Sony got back with a vengeance with its gaming wonder-the Play stations.

After Playstation 1 (PS1) and Playstation 2 (PS2), Sony moves ahead with its portable version of the gaming gadgets-the Play Station Portable (PSP), and this mobile Playstation is getting more attraction than its stationary counterparts.

Unlike the PS1 and PS2, whose target audience was restricted to kids and in-house gaming, the PSP's target group besides the kids and teenagers includes youngsters above 18 years of age, and also middle-aged men mostly from the corporate sector. As the tagline goes, it is your PSP that gives you some entertainment on the move.

As for the additional features of the device, apart from its customised gaming options, you can download your favourite MP3 on its 32 MB Memory Stick Duo. A USB portal provides options to store photographs from any PC, laptops, or digital camera on to the PSP. Soon you would also be able to play compatible DVDs on your PSP making it possible to enjoy your favourite movies on the 4.3" x 16.9" LCD screen anytime, anywhere. Though the movie-watching experience is not as great as that of the PS2, which can be connected to your PC or TV, imagine the thrill of watching a movie while you wait at the airport or in the dentist's clinic.

Despite its advantages, the entry of the PSP still does not pose a threat to PS2, due to its pricing. While PC2 is priced at 13,000 the PSP is priced at a steep Rs 20,000. In fact many are already waiting for the PS3 to enter the Indian market.

Sales figures at Sony Worlds across Mumbai indicate that PSPs are being seen as a good gifting option for corporate honchos. For Kaushik Kumar, a software engineer, who takes his PSP to office everyday PSPs are like an addiction. He says, "I play games while commuting and even during my lunch hour. I feel completely detached from the real world and it is relaxing too."

As for the game titles on offer, Sony World customer executives say it's the action games that are selling well. Especially the EA FIFA games and other role-playing titles are great hits. Tooney options like Scooby Doo and Aladdin Tales however, do not have takers in the action and speed driven consumer market. "Action games have always ruled the boys' toys. I like to play games that involve speed and are challenging," says 17-year-old Kunal who was recently gifted a portable by his parents.

The official distribution channel of these play stations in India, is Milestone Interactive Software Limited. They are not quite visible in the grey market, unlike the Microsoft Xbox. The official launches of Playstation 3 and Misrcosoft Xbox in India are scheduled close to each other in the middle of 2006.
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Posted on : 23/11/2005
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