Handhelds, Mon Amour

Japan's love affair with portable video-game devices may herald a not-so-distant time when consoles become mere museum curiosities

In November, Sony (SNE) will finally launch the PlayStation 3 video-game console and Nintendo (NTDOY) is expected to release its next generation rival called Wii. Both are expected to sell in the millions and create mob scenes, at least early on, at electronics stores in Tokyo, London, and New York. These gaming machines, as well as Microsoft's (MS) Xbox, are sophisticated pieces of electronics with powerful chips and killer graphics.

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