Report: PSP Skype launching this month

Japan's Nikkei Net says Sony expects to launch Internet phone service imminently; free for PSP-to-PSP and PSP-to-PC calls, but limited to PSP Slim owners.

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Earlier this week, Sony's Consumer Electronics Show site slipped news that voice over IP support would soon be added to the hardware maker's frontline handheld, the PlayStation Portable. While the blurb contained no information beyond the fact, Japan's Nikkei Net news service (registration required) is reporting today that Skype functionality will be added to the PSP as early as this month.

Nikkei also provided a few details on what PSP owners can expect from the Sony-Skype partnership. Skype's Internet phone technology will be limited to owners of the PSP Slim, which launched worldwide in September. Owners of the redesigned handheld will able to download Skype software directly onto their PSPs and then use a specially designed microphone to communicate.

The Skype service will be free for PSP-to-PSP and PSP-to-PC calls. PSP Slim owners will also be able to sign up for a dedicated phone number, which Nikkei is reporting will run for 2,250 yen (about $20.70) for three months of usage. Nikkei did not report on whether the pricing structure would extend to other regions. Sony had not returned requests for comment as of press time.

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