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PlayStation Phone in the works, claim photos

SonyEricsson is working on a new phone in conjunction with Sony Computer Entertainment - a PlayStation Phone - if photographic evidence received by tech site Engadget is to be believed.

The phone is presented as a touchscreen device with four basic face buttons. The screen then slides out to reveal the characteristic Sony PlayStation video game control pad and buttons, just as the PSP Go's screen does.

There is also a touchpad, overlapping with suggestions that Sony is introducing touchpad technology to the similarly unconfirmed PlayStation Portable 2.

The touchpad and PlayStation controls sit in the space usually occupied by a full keyboard on other phones of a similar style.

UK games news site NowGamer claimed that a Sony representative had branded the photos as "definitely fake," a quote which was later redacted upon request when Sony reverted to its usual stance of refusing to comment on rumor or speculation, said the article's author.

Engadget assured its readers that the object in the photos "is in fact the PlayStation Phone".

News of the possible PlayStation Phone comes as rival Nintendo prepares to release its next handheld console, the Nintendo 3DS, towards the end of February 2011 in Japan and then during March in North American and European regions.

Apple, meanwhile, is contesting the smartphone popularity contest with Blackberry and the Android handset manufacturers, including HTC, Motorola, and SonyEricsson themselves.