Sony Might Buy Ericsson (And Why This Matters To The PlayStation Brand)

Sony Might Buy Ericsson (And Why This Matters To The PlayStation Brand)

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Sony is about to buy Ericsson, the mobile phone company it teamed up with in 2001. Sounds boooooring, but it actually has the potential to be a big move for the PlayStation brand.

The Xperia Play, a phone released by Sony Ericsson’s joint venture, has been a bit of a dud. It looks… OK, but in a world of $0.99 iPhone games, the DS, 3DS, PSP and upcoming Vita, it hasn’t lived up to the promise it once held when everyone thought it would be an actual PlayStation Phone.

It was never going to, of course, because Sony Ericsson wasn’t Sony. It was, in typical Sony fashion, an almost isolated group, one far from a leadership position in the mobile field, and certainly not the kind of people who would be trusted to come up with an actual PlayStation Phone.

But now that Sony is taking over and bringing the whole operation under the one umbrella? Things get more interesting. The WSJ reports that, according to “people familiar with the matter”, Sony Ericsson tried “for years” to develop a true PlayStation Phone, but Sony were cold on the idea, not happy to entrust the brand to a spin-off joint venture company.

If Sony Ericsson simply becomes Sony’s mobile phone company, though, that would all change. And you’d think the very first thing they’d be looking at would be to come up with a PlayStation Phone, something that could fill a niche in the smartphone market by being a device offering more substantial games than those usually found on, say, the Apple or Android stores.

That’s all just speculation, of course, and the WSJ says the talks are far from a done deal. But if that deal gets done, don’t be surprised to hear rumours of a proper PlayStation Phone start popping up again. Only this time, we might actually get one.

Sony Itches to Return to Mobile Arms Race [Wall Street Journal]


  • While people say the xperia play has been a dud, in my opinion Being an owner of said phone, I think the only problem is the market saturation. They where never going to sell enough units to make it worth while developing hundreds of exclusive games for it.

    The thing I like about it is that a lot of games are optimized for it, removing the need for touch screen controls, meaning they play much better. Even a lot of the 99c games.Plus it emulates snes so well.

    I don’t think a SONY brand phone would do much better unless it was literally an add on to the vita. Where people buy it first for the console and the fact its a phone is a bonus.

    I needed a phone so I got the play because I like games. I don’t have a DS and i never have my psp with me.

    • My (only real) issue with mine is the lack of playstation games, all they need to do is attach to PSN and let me grab FFVII and FFVIII and it would be the best phone ever.

  • dont knock the Play bro, it has soem really good games and with the right mods and emulators it makes an awesome pocket gameboy that lets you use wifi or bluetooth to battle your friends with pokemon on your phone

  • I own the xperia play to. Its baddass for games like demolition derby, syphon filter, minecraft, crash bandicoot and a lot of awesome emulators

  • I have the Xperia Play. All my co-workers are iPhone fan boys and try to diss me about it. I love it, it’s a lot smoother than my previous phone which was a Samsung Galaxy. Ashfalt 6 is awesome and although I haven’t played a lot of games on it due to the lack of games I like, it’s still a great game. But playing games like Ashfalt 6, Syphon Filter and Bad Company 2 using the pad is perfection. I just wish it had zoom on the camera. But with the new firmware it now has 720 HD recording and Screenshot function. Also battery life is a lot better (roughly lasts 3 hours longer for me)

  • Don’t get me wrong the xperia play is a good phone! I thought it was so good that I left a iphone 3gs, but after using an iphone for 2 years I’m finding myself some what disappointed with the play. After reading the article I feel as though sony shouldn’t try to make something that’s already here, but invest in the phone that’s made by Sony Ericsson. After buying the company if that’s what they want to do, just change the name of the existing device. Hell send me a face plate and I’ll help them do it, I just feel there’s a open market, and by taking the psp brand mobile the market is limitless. I don’t see myself walking around with a ngp/vita in my pocket. Can you say repair coast. I think with the smart phone market Sony needs to stop playing pocket pool and start thinking strategy. Master the Xperia play first then talk about building a true playstation phone. If you ask me the true playstation phone is here and it’s name is Xperia play.

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