In case you missed the melodrama last week, someone leaked pictures of a device purported to be a PlayStation Phone. Coverage madness ensued. Sony apparently came out swinging, at first calling the pictures fakes, then redacting that statement to a predictably obscure "no comment." The saga concluded (well, almost) with tech blog Engadget, the original leak-vehicle, wink-winking an "oh it's true alright" defense and rebuttal.
Almost concluded? During an earnings call last week, Sony's chief financial officer Masaru Kato sort-of-kind-of confirmed the phone's existence. Okay, not a PlayStation phone, but some kind of phone. Alright, he really just said the cellphone gaming market was growing in Japan, and, you know, Sony likes phones.
"As for the new PSP product [rumor], as mentioned, I know that you are not asking me to tell you when we will be coming out with a new product, but 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," said Kato, using an interpreter.
"And there are smartphones and others or even cellphones gaming markets [that] are very popular here in Japan. So the market itself is...expanding."
Kato said that while he couldn't get into specifics, the company faces significant challenges putting games on smartphones and tablets. He then alluded to the PlayStation Phone's hybridization by confirming gaming and telephony "are not going to be planned in different parts of our company."
So yeah, way to predict the obvious, us. As if Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo haven't all three been thinking about--and yes, probably prototyping--these kinds of devices for awhile now. When did we first hear about a PlayStation Phone? November 2007. And again in June 2008. And again in January 2009 (rumors of its demise, that is). And while I'm still curious after all these years, I'm sure you're as tired of hearing about its hypothetical existence in clumsy mockups, and now who-knows-what-stage prototype snaps, as I am.
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