Since March, 2010 has percolated with speculation about a PlayStation-branded phone being in the works at Sony Ericsson. Today, the chief executive of the company, a joint venture between Sony and Swedish cell phone-maker Ericsson, dropped a major hint that such a product is in the pipeline.
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Sony Ericsson CEO Bert Nordberg responded to rumors of a PlayStation-branded phone thusly: "There's a lot of smoke, and I tell you there must be a fire somewhere. Sony has an extremely strong offering in the gaming market, and that's very interesting."
Nordberg's comments come less than a month after a series of purported PlayStation Phone photos surfaced. Unconfirmed reports had the device running games made for the Android mobile operating system but with a PSP Go-like control layout with the four iconic PlayStation buttons, start/select buttons, a D pad, and shoulder buttons. The device also appeared to have touchpad with two sensors where thumbsticks would normally be, and a touchpad on its rear.
Three weeks ago, another Sony executive also hinted that a PlayStation Phone was in the works. Speaking to analysts following Sony's most recent earnings report, Sony CFO Masaru Kato did hint that Sony is working on a product--or products--to tackle the burgeoning mobile gaming market.
"I cannot be specific as to how we will introduce [a] new product to address these markets, but one thing I can say is that we have those markets addressed, and we will come out with products and services to capture the broader [mobile] gaming market," Kato said.