by Anton Shilov
01/21/2009 | 11:32 PM
Sony Ericsson, a struggling maker of cell phones and a joint venture between Ericsson and Sony, will not get rights to use PlayStation brand on its gamer-oriented handsets from Sony Corp. Perhaps, it is not yet set on stone, but it is highly likely that there will be no Sony Ericsson PlayStation Phone and will be no SE’s handsets designed for gaming.
Sony executives reportedly told colleagues at Sony Ericsson that it would only license the PlayStation brand if and when Sony makes handsets independently, according to Mobile Today web-site, which is effectively pushing for an exit from the joint venture with Ericsson. Nonetheless, Ericsson has its own explanation on the matter: there is no PlayStation phone in the plans since there is no powerful enough hardware for it.
“In the past, we have been keen that our product proposition lives up to brand promise, and we feel at the moment the technical specs are not high enough to put such a prestigious brand on a phone,” said a spokeswoman for Sony Ericsson.
At present Sony Ericsson makes Cyber-shot and Walkman-branded cell phones and also supplies Bravia-branded handsets to Japanese market.
The market of video games is on the rise right now and Sony Ericsson probably believes that gaming phone line would boost its sales going forward. However, keeping in mind that special handset would require specifically developed games, a PlayStation phone project would take a long time to accomplish. Furthermore, Nokia, the world’s top cell phone maker, eventually scrapped its N-Gage phone line and decided to enable gaming on all of its devices.
The PlayStation is definitely one of Sony’s premier brands that not only marks hardware, but software as well, which is why it is unlikely that the company wishes to license it for a range of devices and software types. Moreover, considering the fact that PlayStation Portable console already supports phone calls via Skype, the next-generation PSP may easily obtain a SIM card, especially keeping in mind that Internet connectivity is becoming a compulsory feature for almost any consumer device these days.