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Posted at 9:43 AM ET, 01/19/2011

Report: PSP2 will be unveiled next week, gaming phone debuts next month

By Hayley Tsukayama

Citing "two people with knowledge of the plans," Bloomberg is reporting that Sony will debut its next handheld system next week and will unveil its gaming phone -- rumored to be called the Xperia Play -- around Valentine's Day at the Mobile World Congress.

The sources say Sony will show off the the next-generation portable, which most people are calling the PSP2, on Jan. 27. Little is known about the handheld, though video and other details about the gaming smartphone have been widely circulated.

Sony has a lot of catching up to do in the portable market. The company's last handheld, the PSPGo, has not been well received, even though it ditched Sony's unpopular proprietary gaming disks in favor of downloads. Meanwhile, Nintendo -- which is previewing its 3DS in New York and Amsterdam on Wednesday morning -- dominates the portable market. Bloomberg cites figures from researcher NPD Group, which say the PSP has sold 18.5 million units in the U.S. as compared with 47.4 million units from the Nintendo DS family.

The idea of a gaming smartphone might take hold with consumers, particularly as tablets such as the Apple iPad move into the mobile gaming market. Microsoft, the other member of the gaming industry's big three, has already said that it is committing to the Windows Phone 7 as its mobile gaming platform, so it's not a surprise that Sony Ericsson is moving in that direction as well.

By Hayley Tsukayama  | January 19, 2011; 9:43 AM ET
Categories:  Gadgets, Gaming  
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