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Sony shares slide after PS4 announced

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TOKYO, Feb 21 AFP

February 21 2013, 7:35PM

Sony shares have fallen after the Japanese electronics giant announced its next-generation PlayStation 4 but didn't unveil the console or say how much it would cost.

The firm said on Thursday it would launch the console for the holiday season, touting it as a "significant shift from thinking of PlayStation as a box or console to thinking of the PlayStation 4 as a leading place for play".

However, there was no mention of what plans the company had regarding films, music, television shows and other digital content offered on the PS4.

And investors seemed initially unimpressed, with Sony ending down 1.77 percent at 1,331 yen on Tokyo's Nikkei index, while ratings agency Fitch warned the new gadget was unlikely to turn the firm's fortunes around.

"It was odd that Sony did not show a physical device" at the New York event, said Gartner consumer technologies research director Brian Blau, adding that the firm was likely trying to generate buzz about the console.

Sony, Nintendo and Xbox maker Microsoft dominate the global games console market, which is worth about SUS44 billion ($A43.15 billion) annually, according to industry figures.

But they have come under increasing pressure in the face of tough competition from cheap or sometimes free downloadable games for smartphones and tablets.

"Investors might want to wait and see the reaction from consumers to the PS4 before actively buying Sony shares, as its PS3 was not really successful," said Toshiyuki Kanayama, senior market analyst at Monex Inc.

The PlayStation 3 sold more than 75 million units, about half of the 155 million units of the PlayStation 2 that have been sold since its debut in 2000 and which made it one of the best-selling videogame consoles of all time.

By Kyoko Hasegawa