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Sony mulls Playstation phone, dropping Ericsson name

updated 04:05 pm EDT, Wed June 25, 2008

Sony PlayStation Phone

Sony is reviving talk of a PlayStation-branded gaming phone that may also mark a split between itself and Ericsson for at least one model, according to multiple sources speaking to Marketing Week. Separate contacts in Sony's native Japan as well as Korea tell the magazine that the phone would include elements of the PSP gaming handheld and that the process would be relatively simple, as components such as Wi-Fi are already well-suited to the device.

No specifications outside of Wi-Fi are available, though it's believed outside of the rumor that the phone would likely drop Sony's UMD format for games due to its bulk and slower load times. The phone would reportedly be ready by the end of 2009.

Sony Ericsson itself released a gaming phone, the F305, though the device lacks any of Sony's PlayStation hardware or software.

More important may be a break between Sony and Ericsson that could be exacerbated by the phone, the publication says. The two are allegedly "frosty" towards each other and have Sony increasingly concerned with keeping its own brands to itself, including the Walkman label already in use on numerous Sony Ericsson devices. Sony would "never" give away its PlayStation brand, according to the report.

The unconfirmed report suggests increasing dissatisfaction within Sony Ericsson, which was formed in 2001 to give both Sony and Ericsson a combined stake in the cellphone business; however, in recent months the joint venture has been losing marketshare to LG, Nokia, and Samsung among other manufacturers.

by MacNN Staff



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