Space Ramblings

Sony PSP Gets into the Telecom Business

Sony has been getting a lot of bad news lately, most of it centering around the PS3 and Blu-Ray. Even the XBox 360’s woes can’t seem to put a smile on Sir Stringer’s face (yes I like calling him that, deal with it) but even with Blu Ray suddenly looking in worse shape with Paramount Dreamworks’ defections to the HD-DVD camp for a 150 million bucks, the announcement of a telecom function for the PSP is decidedly interesting.

The PSP is an amazing device and in many ways it’s far more relevant in the battle for the future, than the whole ridiculous living room media center bit that Microsoft and Sony have staked so much on with the XBox vs PS3 wars. Unfortunately Sony released the PSP crippled in many ways preventing users from exploiting the full potential of a device that makes the iPhone look like last week’s resin stain.

New software which enables PlayStation owners to make phone calls from their handheld consoles has been unveiled. It means Sony’s PlayStation Portables (PSPs) can make calls to land lines, mobiles and other PSPs.

The software, called GoMessenger!, was developed jointly by Sony and telecoms giant BT. PSP users who connect to wireless broadband can then send each other instant messages via the handheld consoles and use a headset to make phone calls. Calls to compatible BT products and other PSPs will be free, while calls to fixed and mobile phones will incur a charge which is yet to be announced.

There’s no doubt that this is moderately cool news, especially as it lets the PSP double as a mobile. With full browsing and text messaging function, the PSP would evolve into a device that could eat most cell phones for dinner in terms of sheer functionality and with some software additions, the PSP could laugh at the iPhone’s vaunted capabilities. It’s really all up to Sony now.

Investing in the future means investing in the PSP.

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