The notion of being able to make and receive phone calls on a fully featured, Sony branded PSP has been nothing more than a prisoner in the imagination of gamers across the world over. The implementation of Remote Play on the latest Sony Ericsson handsets and Skype’s debut of their VoIP software on the PSP inched such a device closer to reality, however both features fail to outweigh their limitations. Now before you go and abandon all hope of carrying a PSP phone in your pockets, check out what the Wall Street Journal has to say about Sony’s intention to answer the call.
Word on Wall St. is that Sony is planning to introduce a few sleek new handheld devices conjured up specifically to head an offense against the ever expanding Apple empire. According to the ubiquitous “people familiar with the matter”, said devices include “a smart phone capable of downloading and playing PlayStation games” along with a multifuctional powerhouse which they promise “blurs distinctions among a netbook, an e-reader and a PlayStation Portable.”
This development seems to come as a result of the recent restructuring Sony has undergone in an effort to improve the PlayStation Network and ultimately expand the service to other devices. Doing so would create an ecosystem not unlike what Apple enjoys today.
When you consider Sony’s current position in the portable gaming, handset, e-reader, and netbook market, along with the current industry trend of persistent convergence and pressure from increasingly innovative competition, in addition to the positive reaction received by the download-only PSPgo, it’s only logical that a PlayStation integrated phone would be part of a plan to not only maintain, but also build upon the premium image Sony has enjoyed for so long.
While hardware is historically an area in which Sony excels, it can only get you so far. With the exception of the Xross Media Bar, software has never been Sony’s strong point. And therein lies the rub. If Sony is to succeed in this endeavor, a pleasant and unique user experience resulting from a harmonious relationship between the hardware and software is imperative. Such a bond is the reason the competition has risen to the top and ultimately what consumers have come to expect.
As of now, Sony faces an uphill battle, one that we genuinely hope becomes less steep with every passing day.