LOS ANGELES, CA, MAY 18, 2005 - Responding to stronger-than-expectedconsumer demand for high-capacity flash memory cards that are needed for music and video-playing in Sony's fast-selling PlayStation Portable (PSP), SanDisk® Corporation today introduced a 2-gigabyte (GB)* Memory Stick PRO Duo™ Gaming Card to provide PSP owners with plenty of removable storage for video clips, MP3 music tracks, digital still photos and game data. The announcement was made at Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) , where SanDisk is showing its gaming cards and accessories in Kentia Hall, Meeting Room 7008 of the Los Angeles Convention Center.
SanDisk is working on increasing its production of new 1GB Memory Stick PRO Duo Gaming Cards, as well as other capacities, in an effort to meet demand from major electronics retailers, video game outlets and discount department stores in North America, Japan and elsewhere in Asia where the PSP has been introduced. Gaming cards will be available at numerous retailers including Best Buy, Circuit City, EB Games (Electronics Boutique) and GameStop.
The 2GB card, which is expected to ship in July, will carry a suggested retail price of $349.99. Other capacities in the Memory Stick PRO Duo Gaming Card line range from $39.99 for 128 megabytes (MB)* to $139.99 for 1GB.
"Weve had numerous calls from interested consumers and retailers asking about the availability of our highest-capacity Memory Stick PRO Duo cards, and were working as quickly as possible to put inventory on retail shelves," said Greg Rhine, SanDisk's senior vice president of worldwide sales. "Since the PSP has limited on-board storage, it is generating strong demand for high-capacity flash memory cards for expanded memory, and we expect this situation to continue as the popularity of the PSP spreads globally."
Christina Day, SanDisks product marketing manager for the gaming card line, said early sell-through reports from retailers indicate that nearly 20 percent of all PSP buyers are also purchasing extra memory cards, but she expects that to reach 50 percent over time. Sony, which reported sales of 600,000 units in the U.S. in the first week of its introduction, recently announced that the heavy demand in Asia and the U.S. has caused the company to postpone its release in Europe until September.
SanDisk co-developed the Memory Stick PRO format with Sony. In January, SanDisk introduced the new gaming line of Memory Stick PRO Duo cards in semi-transparent neon colors.
While the PSP is aimed at the fast-growing handheld gaming device market, recent purchasers have learned that its numerous other features - including playback of movies, music, digital still images, video clips and game data - require large amounts of memory. The PSP uses a proprietary storage medium called Universal Media Disc (UMD) for movies and games, but UMD discs are not recordable or writable.
SanDisk is the original inventor of flash storage cards and is the worlds largest supplier of flash data storage card products, using its patented, high-density flash memory and controller technology. SanDisk is headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA and has operations worldwide, with more than half its sales outside the U.S
SanDisk product and executive images can be downloaded from /Corporate/MediaKit/
The matters discussed in this news release contain forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties as described under the caption, "Factors That May Affect Future Results" in the company's annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company cannot guarantee that demand for its high capacity flash memory cards will increase as expected. The company assumes no obligation to update the information in this release.