Sony PlayStation smartphone rings changes in gaming

08:40, February 15, 2011      

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Sony Corp's long-awaited PlayStation smartphone will be available as Sony Ericsson's Xperia Live. Denis Doyle / Bloomberg

Sony Corp's PlayStation, on the Sony Ericsson's new Xperia Live phone, will take on Microsoft's Xbox Live, available on Windows Phone 7.

The launch came just two days after Microsoft Corp's Windows Phone got a major boost from Nokia Corp, the world's largest phone maker by volume, who said it would use the platform across its smartphone portfolio.

"Console wars are moving to the mobile platform, but Microsoft and Sony have significant ground to cover if they are to close the gap to Apple," said Geoff Blaber, an analyst at CCS Insight.

"The Xperia Play offers something refreshingly different amidst a sea of homogenous Android devices," he said.

Sony Ericsson said Verizon Communications Inc would sell the model in the United States, opening access to the world's largest smartphone market for the a 50-50 venture of Sweden's Ericsson Inc and Japan's Sony Corp.

Sony Ericsson also unveiled two other smartphone models running Google's Android software and said it plans to launch at least eight Android phones this year.

"We want to become the largest Android phone maker," said Bert Nordberg, chief executive officer of Sony Ericsson, adding the company would need to increase its market share in Android to around 25 percent from 14 percent now.

Android has risen fast to become the platform of choice for many smaller phone makers, who have rolled out dozens of similar models to battle against Nokia and Apple Inc.

Sony Ericsson will focus increasingly on growth this year, after turning profitable in 2010, Nordberg said, adding the firm aims to increase both revenue and profit in 2011.

The venture's fourth-quarter earnings fell well short of analyst expectations as it had to cut prices on its old models and the new ones have yet to hit stores.

All new models will go on sale around the start of April, leaving the group with an awkward gap, having already had to slash prices in the previous quarter.

Source:China Daily
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