PSP Gets More Functionality with Communications & Navigation

Sony Computer Entertainment Incorporated has teamed up with British Telecommunications to release software that turns the Sony PlayStation Portable into a communication device that can make video and voice calls as well as send instant messages. The company also plans to release navigation hardware and software for the PSP device. Starting February 2008, Sony intends to market a special GPS accessory for the PSP.

BT said it would kick off the project in January 2008 in the UK, Germany, Spain and Italy, targeting 8.5 million PSP users in the European Union. Mobile gamers will have to subscribe to BT and install the appropriate free software. Customers do not need to have BT broadband to use the service, which allows for free calls from one PSP user to another, but customers have to pay for calls between PSP users and mobiles or landline phones. BT has not yet released a pricing scheme but did note that it would be similar to the Softphone charges. Currently, local and national calls are £0.03 ($0.059) per minute using a BT Softphone, while calls to UK mobiles cost between £0.075 ($0.014) and £0.125 ($0.24) a minute. International calls cost up to £0.10 a minute ($0.19), plus a £0.06 ($0.11) call set-up fee. BT will roll-out the VoIP PSP service in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Oceania.

News source: Xbit Laboratories

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