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Sony coy about PS3 mobile phone

Exec admits smartphone gaming is a priority

Sony Ericsson officials have stopped short of confirming a recent report that the company is developing a smartphone that can download and play PlayStation games, saying only that the company is working closely with Sony on handset access to PlayStation games.

On March 5, the Wall Street Journal reported that Sony Ericsson was working with Sony to develop a smartphone capable of playing PlayStation games and designed to compete with the iPhone and other Apple products. The smartphone and other products that Sony is working on, including a new online service, are "critical elements" of the company's turnaround plans.

Asked about Sony Ericsson's plans to help Sony bring a PlayStation handset to the market, Hirokazu Ishizuka, corporate vice president and head of Asia-Pacific for the handset maker, hinted that something is in the works but he didn't offer details.

"What I can say today is that what we're trying to do is make sure our users can enjoy PlayStation gaming titles with our phones. We're not ready to mention anything about that [handset]," Ishikzuku said in an interview on Tuesday.

Sony Ericsson will have more to say about its PlayStation plans, "when the time comes", said Peter Ang, the company's vice president of marketing for Asia-Pacific.

Mobile gaming is a core component of Sony Ericsson's handset strategy and PlayStation games are a major part of that, although gaming access isn't yet available. Last year, the company took a first step with the introduction of Aino, a handset is are capable of playing media content stored on a PlayStation 3 console, but not games.

"Of course, we continue working with Sony closely," Ang said.

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