updated 7/30/2005 10:13:01 AM ET 2005-07-30T14:13:01

Tapwave Inc. has discontinued its Zodiac handheld video game machine, bringing an end to a device that beat Sony Corp.'s PlayStation Portable to market but failed to capture much interest from consumers.

In an announcement posted on its Web site, Mountain View-based Tapwave said it also was discontinuing service and support for its Zodiac line as of July 25. A spokeswoman for Tapwave did not return a message seeking additional explanation.

"We thank you for your past interest and support and apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused," the post read.

Launched in 2003, the Zodiac player was based on the Palm operating system and attempted to combine the functionality of a PDA with a gaming machine.

It also integrated a digital music player, photo viewer and eBook reader in a 6.3-ounce gadget that sold for about $270.

But the device never caught on like the Nintendo Gameboy or the Sony PlayStation Portable, which was released in North America earlier this year.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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