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Nintendo Cuts Handheld Price

Nintendo Co. is getting more aggressive in the portable video game market, announcing a $20 price cut Tuesday for its newest handheld system.

The Nintendo DS is being reduced to $130 from $150. The cut is effective Sunday, a day before the release of the anticipated title "Nintendogs," an interactive puppy simulator that lets owners train and play with a virtual pet. The dogs respond to owners through the built-in microphone and react to praise via the handheld's touch screen.

The dual-screen handheld device made its way to retail stores in November and has sold more than 2.5 million units in North America and 5 million worldwide.

But Sony Corp.'s PlayStation Portable, which retails for $250, stole the limelight in March with its all-in-one entertainment system that lets players watch movies, listen to music, play games and view photos. Sony has sold almost 2 million units in North America and shipped more than 5 million worldwide.

According to market research firm DFC Intelligence, the worldwide portable game market is expected to grow from $4 billion in 2004 to $11.1 billion by 2007. Nintendo is credited for creating the market in 1989 with its Game Boy series.

This fall, Nintendo plans to let DS players challenge each other via Wi-Fi — a feature already on the PlayStation Portable.

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