Sony PSP phone closer to launch after patent move

Sony%20pspSpeculation is rife that Sony is gearing up to launch a PSP (PlayStationPortable) Sony Ericsson phone after filing a US patent application at the end of last month. The news comes as the company appears to be plotting an assault on the mobile games market.

Details of the patent emerged online via gaming fan sites, and the application includes a design blueprint for a mobile phone with gaming capabilities and a swivel screen to make it easier to view gameplay. Rumours of a PSP phone have been rife for some time, but until now there has been little real evidence of such a move. Sony had previously shied away from launching into the mobile games market.

The patent filing sits well with other recent developments at the games company. The company’s gaming division Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) has appointed Balbir Blugan to head mobile business development at SCEE, while last month it announced a four-year tie-up with telecoms giant BT to launch wi-fi and voice over internet protocol (VoIP) capabilities on the PSP.

Sony Ericsson phones have also incorporated the Cybershot and Walkman brands and capabilities – paving the way for a PSP phone, say observers.

As new technologies and graphic displays emerge, the prospects for games launches on mobile look to be better than ever. Last week it was announced the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association helped to strike a deal that sees major mobile games publishers – Electronic Arts, Glu, Gameloft and I-play – launch games across all UK networks simultaneously.

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