It's a rumor about a long-running rumor, but it apparently comes from good sources. Sony's PlayStation Portable smartphone, something the industry has been abuzz about for some time, is set to be launched in North America and Europe this spring, according to a Japanese newspaper report Wednesday, said AFP.
The device would likely be based on Sony's handheld PSP Go game console. It would be manufactured by Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications and run on Google's Android operating system, said the newspaper Asahi Shimbun's English edition. The paper cited unnamed sources for the news.
It's not clear who the target market for the phone would be, aside from the sort of gamers who seldom leave the house and refer to their friends as “their horde.”
With the introduction of the PlayStation smartphone, analysts say that Sony hopes to position itself to better compete with Apple's iPhone, Research in Motion's BlackBerry and Nokia's broad range of devices by offering something new and cool: the first smartphone based on a portable game console, with a set of controls that allows very advanced gaming right from the device.
The PSP Go, launched in November 2009, already features software downloads through a wireless connection, allowing players to also browse the Internet, watch movies, play music and read books and comics.
The new PlayStation handset would similarly work with Sony's online media platform, the company's answer to Apple's iTunes.
Sony hopes the phone will stimulate sales in the sluggish videogame console market, said the Asahi.
Sony called the newspaper report “speculation” and declined to comment, said AFP.
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