Sega Returning to the Hardware Biz with Vision PMP for 2009

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Sony's PSP is currently getting its butt handed to it by the Nintendo DS, but don't tell that to Sega. With its upcoming Sega Vision PMP, due out in the UK sometime in 2009, the former hardware company-turned-sub par software maker is hoping to take on the jack-of-all-trades portable market. The prognosis for such a device is OK, but then again how could it not be? After all, this is the company that brought us the 32X, Saturn, and the Dreamcast—the only direction any Sega hardware offering could go from this point forward is up.

As the comments about this device over at the Register suggest, this is one butt-ugly portable that probably shouldn't have been compared to the PSP, let alone a DS. The "games" it plays are actually Java-based affairs, and its strengths, should they materialize in 2009, would be as a portable TV, movie player, camera, and even an eBook reader.

It's a device you should probably watch in the dark or after a few pints, but it does in fact mark a return to the hardware business for Sega after two generations away from the game. We're just having trouble figuring out what the hook is. Consumers aren't likely to be swayed by simple branding, Sega's storied history or not.