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PlayStation Phone Due Out In Spring 2011?

December 29, 2010

Sony could release the highly anticipated PlayStation Phone in Europe and North America by the spring of 2011, a Japanese newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The AFP, citing the original story by the English edition of Asahi Shimbun, said that the smartphone would most likely be based on the PlayStation Portable (PSP) Go handheld gaming system and would operate using Google Android software. The device would be manufactured by Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications, unnamed sources told the Japanese media.

The PSP Go, which was released slightly over a year ago, allows users to download gaming software and movies from a PlayStation-branded storefront somewhat similar to Apple’s iTunes and App Store. The device can also surf the Internet, play music, and read select books and comics, according to AFP.

“Sony hopes to take on Apple’s iPhone, Research in Motion’s BlackBerry and Nokia devices by offering the first smartphone that is based on a portable game console, with a set of controls that allows very advanced gaming,” the French news agency added, noting that the electronics giant is hoping the smartphone will help “stimulate sales in the sluggish videogame console market.”

According to Suzanne Choney of MSNBC.com’s ‘Technolog’ column, the device “will supposedly be called the Xperia Play, with Xperia being the name of several of Sony Ericsson’s current phones.”

Choney adds that the smartphone will reportedly feature a “touch sensitive tracking pad” instead of the twin analog nubs used on the PSP Go, will use internal memory instead of memory sticks, and will continue the Go’s lack of a UMD drive, as found on earlier PSP models.

“The phone also is reported to have a 1GHz Qualcomm CPU, 512MB of RAM, 1GB of ROM, and a screen ‘in the range of 3.7 to 4.1 inches,’” the Asahi Shimbun report also said, according to MSNBC.com. In response to an AFP inquiry, Sony called the report “speculation” and declined to comment further.

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