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Sony Working on New Handheld Gaming Device: Report

One of the big disappointments at E3 this year was that Sony’s rumored PSP 2 never materialized: Instead, the grand finale to their presentation was a Twisted Metal reboot. Well, according to a new Wall Street Journal report, Sony is working on a new portable device that you’ll be able to play games with.

Intriguingly, it doesn’t sound like a new PSP, but rather like a new cross-category gadget that melds handheld gaming consoles, e-readers, and plain old computing:WSJ:

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Sony is developing a portable device that shares characteristics of hand-held game machines, e-book readers and netbook computers, according to people familiar with the matter. Some Sony e-book readers already come with 3G connections but it isn’t clear if a new wireless gadget will use carrier networks.

Sony hasn’t announced any immediate plans to revamp its PSP hardware.

Meanwhile, Sony told a British developers’ journal that they’ve been working on new gaming hardware since 2007:

Speaking to UK trade publication Develop, Shuhei Yoshida said that Sony’s studios had been involved in new hardware development since Kaz Hirai took over as company president in 2007.

“[Hirai] wanted developers in meetings at the very beginning of concepting new hardware, and he demanded SCE people talk to us. We are undergoing many activities that we haven’t yet been talking about in public. Some future platform related activities.”

It’s possible that these two reports actually refer to different things: Sony is, after all, a large company without the square focus on gaming enjoyed by a Nintendo, and as Kotaku points out, the WSJ report sounds more like a quasi-iPhone competitor than a direct competitor to the 3DS, which, barring a surprise revelation from Sony before early 2011, will have lapped Sony (and everyone) in defining the next generation of handhelds. Console and PC gaming will always have more firepower in terms of pure specs to sate the hardcore gamers; but for everything else, it makes sense that over the next few years, the lines dividing handheld consoles, phones, e-readers, and netbooks are getting blurrier and blurrier.

(WSJ via Kotaku)

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