Sony ready, set for PSP Go

Smaller device will be available this year

Sony on Tuesday unveiled the latest in its Playstation Portable line of hand-held devices, the PSP Go, as it races to catch rival Nintendo in the mobile gaming arena.

The gadget goes on sale Oct. 1 in North America and Europe for about $249, before hitting stores in Japan on Nov. 1.

Executives at the E3 video games conference in Los Angeles said it will be half the size of Sony's current PSP 3000 and 40% lighter.

Sony aims to sell 15 million units of the PSP -- which competes with Nintendo's DS -- in the financial year to March, up from 14.1 million units a year earlier.

Nintendo's gaming consoles and hand-held devices have in past months outsold its rivals' products. Its DSi, released in the U.S. on April 5, sold about 800,000 units in the month, far outpacing Sony's PSP hand-held.

The DS franchise overall sold more than 1 million units.

Nintendo's core Wii console was also the top-selling platform in April, even though sales fell by half to 340,000 units alongside a dive in consumer spending, according to research group NPD.