Det visade sig att ryktena om att Sony skulle ta upp kampen med Nintendos GBA var sanna, då PlayStation Portable presenterades.
E3 2003: Sony takes on Game Boy Advance with the PSP
It's been rumoured for years, but Sony has officially announced it's about to launch a handheld console. Arriving towards the end of next year, the PSP is a shrunk-down 3D console, related to the PlayStation brand family, complete with teeny game discs.
You heard right. The console will be disc-based, with games coming on minute 6cm discs. This will make software much cheaper to produce than if it were to use cartridges. Part of the reason GBA games are so expensive for such relatively simple games is due to the high manufacturing cost of carts. But pressing a disc costs pennies compared to pounds for a cart.
The discs will use a proprietary DVD-like format, allowing them to hold as much data as CD in just a quarter of the physical size. This is easily possible: Nintendo's Gamecube squeezed 1.5Gb - or three CDs' worth of data - onto an 8cm disc.
If the machine is PS1 based this will give the it a potential back catalogue of thousands of games, plus may well breathe life into its bigger brother - PSone development has all but dried up, but this is likely to change as publishers create new titles for the handheld.
And not only will the console play games, it'll be capable of playing DVD-quality MPEG 4 video too. It'll have a built-in rechargable battery, backlit screen, and will be higher resolution than GBA (widescreen format, 480x272 dots). It will also have a USB 2.0 port for all sorts of connectivty shenanigans.
The Game Boy series of consoles is the most successful console ever, having sold knocking on for 150 million units since its 1989 release. And it goes to prove that games don't have to be cutting edge when shrunk down to pocket size.