NEW YORK (CNN/Money) – The CEO of gaming publisher Electronic Arts predicted Sony's new portable gaming system will launch globally before the end of the year and will cost less than many have speculated.
Speaking in a conference call with analysts, Larry Probst said EA expects Sony to ship the PSP in November or December at a price somewhere between $199 and $249. That's significantly lower than the $300-$400 price point that many in the industry have whispered. Software for the system, he said, will likely cost in the $40 range.
Probst further said the company was expecting Sony to ship 3 million PSPs initially, with 1 million units going to North America, Europe and Japan. All numbers were EA (ERTS: Research, Estimates) estimates, he added, and were not given to the company by Sony. EA and Sony, however, have a very close relationship, which adds weight to the estimates.
Nintendo's Game Boy has long been the king of the hill of handheld gaming, but Sony's entry, announced last May, has set the stage for a showdown. Sony (SNE: Research, Estimates) CEO Ken Kutaragi describes the PSP as the "Walkman for the 21st century". In addition to playing games, it is expected to also play music and video files.