Tokyo: Sony`s long-rumoured PlayStation Portable smartphone is set to be launched in North America and Europe as early as the spring, according to a Japanese newspaper report Wednesday.
The device would likely be based on Sony`s handheld PSP Go game console, would be made by Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications and run Google`s Android operating system, said the Asahi Shimbun`s English edition, citing unnamed sources.
Sony hopes to take on Apple`s iPhone, Research in Motion`s BlackBerry and Nokia devices by offering the first smartphone that is based on a portable game console, with a set of controls that allows very advanced gaming.
The PSP Go, launched in November 2009, already features software downloads through a wireless connection, allowing players to also browse the Internet, watch movies, play music and read books and comics.
The new PlayStation handset would similarly work with Sony`s online media platform, the company`s answer to Apple`s iTunes.
Sony hopes the phone will stimulate sales in the sluggish videogame console market, said the Asahi.
Sony called the newspaper report "speculation" and declined to comment.