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HP has gaming handheld in the works

SAN FRANCISCO--Hewlett-Packard is working on a gaming handheld that could let players use their surroundings as a backdrop for an immersive game.

The company unveiled a commercial for "Mscape," its gaming prototype, that featured a number of young hipster gamers roaming San Francisco while playing a game on Mscape that used cues from their environment as triggers to unlock new levels or bonuses. "We want to get kids off the couch," Rahul Sood, chief technology officer of HP's gaming division, said during a presentation here.

Details were sketchy, but HP appears to be taking a cue from the response to Nintendo's Wii gaming console, which is built around a motion sensor in the controller. Mscape is definitely still a prototype, but Sood said he's "really pleased with our progress so far." The taglines for the gaming handheld? "Your world is the playing field. Get in the game."

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