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Sony to launch new pet robot by year's end

Aibo
Sony's robotic pet "Aibo" will be getting a new companion by the end of the year  

TOKYO (Reuters) -- Sony Corp. said on Thursday it will begin selling a new pet robot by the end of the year as a mechanical pal for its popular "Aibo" robot dog.

"It will be a friend of Aibo's, but we can't say anything more about it," a Sony spokeswoman said. Further details, including the robot's launch date, will be announced on October 12.

Aibo, a 27-cm-tall (11 inch) dog-like robot that can go for walks, chase after a ball and wag its tail, went on sale in June 1999, priced at 250,000 yen ($2,290) in Japan and $2,500 in the United States.

A limited edition of 3,000 Aibos sold out just 20 minutes after they went on sale over the Internet in Japan, while 2,000 of the pricey pets were sold in four days in the United States.

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Responding to better-than-expected demand, the company made another 40,000 slightly modified Aibos for sale in Japan, the United States and Europe.

Sony's shares ended 1.02 percent lower at 10,650 yen on Thursday and have shed nearly 15 percent of their value over the past two weeks, after a parts shortage forced the company to cut initial U.S. shipments of its hit PlayStation 2 home video game player.

Copyright 2000 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



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