Sony Ericsson chief hints at PlayStation phone

Sony Ericsson, by working with parent company Sony, may soon release a smartphone specifically optimized to play video games, the handset maker's chief indicated.

Sony Ericsson CEO Bert Nordberg said he is aware of recent speculation that the company is working on a "PlayStation phone," and hinted that an actual product may be in the works. "There's a lot of smoke, and I tell you there must be a fire somewhere," Nordberg told the Wall Street Journal during an interview. "Sony has an extremely strong offering in the gaming market, and that's very interesting."

Reports have indicated throughout the year that the company is working with Sony on a gaming device, which likely will run Google's Android platform. The blog Engadget reported earlier this year that such a phone is being developed, and that it likely will sport a screen of between 3.7 and 4.1 inches, and will probably have a 1 GHz Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) Snapdragon processor. Nordberg said he wants to make a lot of "noise" with a new device at Mobile Word Congress in Barcelona in February. The main challenge will be negotiating legal rights with videogame publishers, which he said Sony has experience doing.

The joint venture between Japan's Sony and Sweden's Ericsson posted a profit of $69 million in the third quarter, much improved from its $232 million loss in the year-ago period but still below analysts' expectations. The company's string of profitable quarters that started in the first quarter of this year is notable since Sony Ericsson had been mired in losses for six quarters preceding that.

For more:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)

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