Report: Sony may develop gaming-phone hybrid

Sony plans to develop a new product that combines mobile gaming and cell phone technology, according to a report in the Nikkei Business Daily.

The company will set up a project team as early as next month to work on the product, which will use elements of Sony Ericsson mobile phones and more traditional Sony-branding gaming devices, such as the PlayStation Portable. A Sony spokesman declined to comment on the report, according to Reuters.

Sony's handset joint venture with Ericsson has been hinting that it will meld gaming and the mobile experience. In May, Sony Ericsson unveiled three new phones, two of which were gaming-centric. The Aino is a touchscreen and media-centric phone that allows users to connect to content on their PlayStation 3 gaming console. The other phone, the Yari, has Nintendo Wii-like gesture controls.

Traditional game-makers such as Capcom have flocked to Apple's iPhone, putting pressure on Sony's mobile gaming offerings. Indeed, according to media research firm Screen Digest, Apple had $100 million in gaming revenues in the second half of 2008, or about 10 percent of the North American mobile games segment. 

For more:
- see this Reuters article

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