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XBox 2, PS3 set for 2006 battle

Game on
Tue Oct 21 2003, 13:11
GAMES MAKER THQ has its nose to the grindstone readying games for the next generation of consoles heading for a high street battle in 2006, CEO Brian Farrell said.

In a conference call to discuss THQ's latest quarterly results, Farrell said the company's Rainbow and Volition studios were already working on ideas for the consoles. "We still believe that the next generation will launch in 2006. That's our best guess as of today's date," Farrell said. But he added that he couldn't rule out an earlier launch date for either one, or both of the consoles. "We're certainly preparing in the event that there is a 2005 launch," he said.

Having carved itself out a niche in the maket dominated by Sony, Microsoft will live or die in the next round of the battle which has seen the Vole squeeze into Nintendo's shoes as the number two contender, Sega having given up the hardware ghost some time ago.

The big two are likely to go head to head within weeks of each other, in a battle for the hearts and minds of nimble-thumbed youngsters everywhere.

Farrell also revealed that THQ is set to start work on games for Sony's PSP handheld gaming device, which is expected go take on Nintendo's successful range next year.

As regards its financials, THQ said its revenue was up 30 percent to $127 million in the third quarter of 2003, from $97 million for the same period in 2002. The publisher's net income was $3.6 million, including a hefty $4 million pretax settlement with an insurance company. µ


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