Sony Corp. is developing a PlayStation Portable (PSP) smartphone, offering the features of both a handheld game console and a mobile phone, for sales in North America and Europe as early as spring, sources said.
The device would be the first one offered by a major videogame manufacturer that integrates gaming with a smartphone.
The gaming smartphone will likely be based on the PSP Go console, which was launched in November 2009. Sony officials hope it will stimulate sales in a sluggish videogame console market.
Somewhat smaller than previous PSP consoles, the PSP Go downloads its software from the Internet through a wireless connection. Sony’s Internet distribution service also allows PSP Go users to download movies, music and manga onto their devices.
The new version would add smartphone functions and would likely incorporate the Android operating system developed by Google Inc.
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