Sony PSP Phone?

Following the recent granting of a patent for Sony for a "mobile information terminal apparatus" the rumour mill has been grinding away that Sony Ericsson are soon to launch a handset based on the PSP handheld console.
 
The patent is for a "mobile information terminal apparatus" with email, gaming, and camera functionality. The screen will be rotatable from landscape to portrait and back again. It’s well known that you have to be precise when detailing a patent, but their description of the screen verges on the ridiculous:

"A mobile information terminal apparatus comprising: a first case including a display portion; a second case; and a rotary support mechanism for supporting said first case and said second case such that said first case is horizontally rotatable with respect to said second case and said first case takes at least a first position and a second position different from the first position, wherein shapes of said mobile information terminal apparatus at the first position and the second position are substantially identical. "

Did you get that? Have a look here:

 
It will also feature a position detector which will realise the positioning of the screen and change the software as appropriate, flicking from email to camera, to game console:

"said controller provides phone and/or electronic mail function when said first case is at the first position, and said controller provides game and/or camera function when said first case is at the second position. "

The key layout is described as pretty much be the same as that of the PSP (once you translate the gobbledegook), with the left and right shoulder buttons acting as zoom controls for the camera.

The patent also describes a third position allowing to provide "TV or Video function".

 

However, in a blog by the Senior Marketing Manager for PSP, John Koller,  the existence of a new product has been officially put in the rumour bin.

"The rumor mill is flowing about new PSP hardware and a PSP phone, and I just wanted to take the time to clear the air. We haven’t announced anything about a new PSP, much less one that would have any phone capabilities. As SCEA’s resident PSP guru, I’m thrilled to hear that there’s so much interest in the platform, but sorry folks, these reports floating around fall into the rumors/speculation category."

Not a complete denial of the project, merely confirmation that Sony haven’t ‘announced’ a new model. Just because it’s rumour doesn’t  mean it’s not true.

Watch this space.