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Sony teases gaming phone and tablet plans

Execs discuss "Joint venture with Ericsson on smartphone and for games devices"

PlayStation maker Sony has finally offered comment on mounting rumour that it's planning to enter the smartphone market.

In an earnings call following its most recent financials, Sony CFO Masaru Kato and senior general manager of Investor Relations Division Gen Tsuchikawa dealt with the inevitable question about the apparent PSP phone.

"There is a gaming market based on cellphones, and there are many changes that are being seen [with] Nintendo, as well as ourselves, in the field of the product for the gamers. And there are smartphones and others or even cellphones gaming markets are very popular here in japan. So the market itself is very... expanding.

"We will look into those markets in trying to develop strategy for the future. Of course, we can't talk about specific products, but smartphones and tablets... it is difficult to tell you how we can put the games on them, but they are not going to be planned in different parts of our company."

The execs were referring to Sony's restructuring back in April, claiming that its Sony Ericsson phone division was no longer quite as disparate from the company's gaming wing.

"I think we can better incorporate all of these capabilities better... so when the timing is right we can probably announce... the new product that we have."

The company also discussed plans for a tablet device to rival the iPad. "Obviously as a mobile strategy, this occupies a very important position. On one hand there is PC, and on the other hand there is joint venture with Ericsson on smartphone and for the games devices.

"Tablets... fall somewhere in between, and it is true Apple has led the market, but when we are to enter the market, we would like to put a Sony character onto ... a new product, and that is the effort we are making right now. Therefore I think you can hope for a very good product to come out."

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Alec Meer: A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.
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