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This week in gadgets

Apple, maker of the omnipresent iPod, may have its hands full fending off Sony's PSP, which arrived in North America this week.

Apple Computer, maker of the omnipresent iPod, may have its hands full fending off Sony, thanks to the new PlayStation Portable, which arrived in North America this week.

Hundreds of dedicated consumers camped outside the Metreon in San Francisco--one of a handful of locations to stay open past midnight Wednesday to begin selling PSPs the minute Thursday's North American retail date arrived.

And these PSP enthusiasts were convinced it was worth whatever discomfort they had to endure to snag one of the gadgets.

The PSP could be one of the first limited-scale victories for "convergence," the oft-touted notion of combining numerous media functions into a single device. While convergence in the home is still an idea looking for a market, the concept has a better chance with portable gadgets, where a multifunction approach can save valuable pocket space.

The PSP takes a new path in the quest for an all-in-one gadget. It's being sold primarily as a portable game machine, a market where it can capitalize on the huge PlayStation brand, yet it can also play movies and music, display digital photos and potentially perform a host of Internet tasks through its built-in wireless networking. The result, analysts and industry observers say, isn't the "iPod killer" many have imagined, but a device that could give Sony a head start in the next phase of the digital-media era.

But it's most certainly a game player, too. GameSpot, one of CNET News.com's sister sites, has a complete guide to games for the PSP, from "Tiger Woods PGA Tour" to "Metal Gear Acid."