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Sony Developing PlayStation Branded Smartphone

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On off rumours that Sony may launch a brand of its own mobile phones are back on again after a report that the company is working on a whole range of handheld gadgets based around its PlayStation platform. Citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal said that he Japanese electronics giant also has a project under way to develop a portable device that blurs distinctions among a netbook, an e reader and a PlayStation Portable, or PSP.

The new products are targeted for launch in 2010, although many details such as price and certain specifications have yet to be finalized, these people said. A Sony spokeswoman declined to comment.

The report added that Sony is working with its Sony Ericsson subsidiary on the new handset, which will diminish old rumours that Sony wanted to ditch its partnership with Ericsson. For its part, Sony Ericsson has already developed smartphones that can interact with the Playstation games platform.

An attempt by Sony Ericsson to formally license the Playstation brand earlier last year was reportedly rebuffed, while last August, Sony's CEO Howard Stringer told Die Welt, that the two companies need to reform their cooperation otherwise the joint venture would fail.

"That's the vision, but it's still not quite clear what specific steps Sony will take to achieve that, especially when iPad and other highly capable mobile devices are crowding the market," said Nobuo Kurahashi, a consumer-electronics analyst at Japanese brokerage Mizuho Investors Securities.

On the web: The Wall Street Journal

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