James Middleton

January 7, 2008

1 Min Read
Sony adds Skype to PSP

Japanese electronics giant Sony beefed up its PlayStation Portable (PSP) gaming device on Monday, with confirmation that it is to add Skype VoIP functionality later this month.

From January 24, Sony will make a firmware update available for the PSP-2000 series of devices, which includes the Lite and Slim models, containing the Skype internet telephony application.

Users will then be able to make VoIP phone calls when connected to a wireless network.

Later this month, Sony will also make extra peripherals, such as microphones, available, to exploit the new functionality.

In instant retaliation, a team of homebrew developers, who make unofficial third party software for the PSP, announced their own open standard, SIP-based VoIP app.

Furikup, created by NoobZ, has been made available as a beta download and works with all variations of the PSP.

But this is not the first time Sony has thought about taking the PSP into the telephony arena. Last summer, the company struck a deal with UK carrier BT, to turn the gaming device into phone.

The two companies have signed a four year contract to develop a raft of extra features for the handheld gadget, adding wireless broadband communications functions, including video calls, voice calls and messaging.

Initially, the partnership intends to integrate BT’s existing Broadband video and VoIP into the device, sending the traffic over the carrier’s next generation 21CN network.

Previously, a patent application, filed by Sony Ericsson in 2006, popped up on the US Patent and Trademark Office website. The accompanying diagrams show a device that looks very much like a PSP with a rotating display, which is designed to be used as a mobile phone, TV or gaming console depending on the configuration.

About the Author(s)

James Middleton

James Middleton is managing editor of telecoms.com | Follow him @telecomsjames

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