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Sony PSP Android Phone to Debut at Mobile World Congress

The interwebs has been reporting on the possibility that Sony Ericcson would release a PSP style Android phone with an emphasis on gaming since August.  Engadget received the skinny on a project code named “Rachael” that would be part of the Xperia line and tout a Sony PSP style slide out controller in pace of the traditional slide out keyboard.

Now, via an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Sony’s Chief Executive, Bert Nordberg, has all but confirmed that devices existence and release announcement.  In his interview with the journal earlier this week Nordberg said “There’s a lot of smoke, and I tell you there must be a fire somewhere”

Sony’s mobile unit is a joint venture between Sony Electronics and L.M. Ericcson Telephone Company.  In the past Sony  Ericcson has stayed out of the mobile gaming space as to not threaten the play station brand.  Lately though the popularity of simple games and now more so the popularity of blockbuster hits available on smart phones, the need may be imminent for the gaming giant to get behind a phone device.

Nordberg, who has been in place since 2009, said he feels it’s time for Sony Ericcson to make some noise at this years Mobile World Congress and eluded to an announcement of this “mysterious” device at that show. The Mobile World Congress is held every year in mid February in Barecelona.

Like many other manufacturers, Sony Ericcson has seen many down quarters over the past few years, but finally turned a profit this year with the help of their Android OS devices.  Nordberg said that he expects Android to be the dominant platform for Sony Ericcson for at least the next two years.

Sales of the Sony Ericcson Xperia X10 were soft in the United States. This can be attributed to the fact that the phone was released on AT&T who is known for “locking down” their Android devices, and the fact that Sony Ericcson released the Xperia with Android 1.6, months after 2.1 became available. They just began releasing a 2.1 update a little over a week ago.

Even though Sony Ericcson has begun to see a profit again they know that they need to do something to set their smartphones apart and Nordberg acknowledged that tapping into their rich gaming history might just be the ticket.

Look out for more on this at the Mobile World Congress.  What do you think, would you get a Sony PSP Phone?

source: Wall Street Journal; Photo: Engadget