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Sony spotlights films for Europe PSP launch

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Gaming

Sony will have 20 video games and 10 films on sale in September for the European launch of the PlayStation Portable, executives said on Monday, with 100,000 pre-recorded movies already sold around the world.

The European launch of Sony's hotly touted new gadget, which plays video games, movies and music, was initially scheduled for the spring, but was pushed back by six months due to supply shortages.

The PSP, better known as a device for playing video games than movies, is already on sale in Japan and the United States.

"Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will have 10 films available from day one," said Patrick Vyncke, the PlayStation chief for the Benelux countries. Twenty titles are scheduled to be on sale by mid-September.

The 100,000 movies Sony has sold on specially formatted discs do not include copies of "Spiderman 2," which were bundled with many of the PSPs.

Price details were not given, but films for the PSP cost between $19 and $29 in the United States. Titles are heavily geared toward young adults between 18 and 25 years old, the core target audience of PSP.

Movies aimed at older, younger and female gamers, including cartoons, will be launched at later stages, Vyncke said.

Although the device was conceived mainly as a portable gaming device, addressing a slightly older age group than Nintendo with its portable GameBoy Advance, the PSP is quickly becoming a new target player for music and film publishers.

"DVD sales are flattening. Consumers already have bought all the film titles they want for their DVD. The publishers are looking for new ways to sell discs," Sony's European president Chris Deering told Reuters at a conference.

The PSP plays optical discs of a new kind, called UMD, that was developed by Sony.

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