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PSP Becomes a Phone Via UK Deal With BT

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the pretty-sexy-phone dept.

Portables (Games) 41

marcellizot writes "PSP owners might want to sit down for this one: Sony has just signed a four-year deal with BT to turn the PSP into a phone. The partnership will add wireless broadband communication functions, including high quality video calls, voice calls and messaging. The partnership will initially integrate the PSP with BT Broadband's video and voice softphone VoIP software, meaning that calls will be free, with the customer only having to pay for the BT broadband subscription. This means that initially the service will only enable the PSP to communicate with products that run the softphone software. BT has already confirmed however that in the months following the service's debut, additional features will be launched to enable calls and messages to PCs, fixed lines and mobiles."

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41 comments

It's the N-Gage 2! (1, Funny)

metamatic (202216) | more than 6 years ago | (#19236325)

Wow, the PSP really is following in the footsteps of the N-Gage. It's as popular, and now it has the phone functionality.

Re:It's the N-Gage 2! (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#19236573)

The only question is, will they put a special side-mounted mic+speaker onto an addon so you can have the full N-Gage experience?

It's actually sold over 20 million... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19236653)

In fact, 21 million PSPs have been sold worldwide, and it's still selling. It's as popular as the Xbox or Gamecube, vastly more than the Dreamcast or Ngage. It's also sold more than twice as many systems as the 360, although that did launch later.

The actual hardware is pretty poor IMO (analog nub in particular) but you can't really knock its popularity.

Re:It's actually sold over 20 million... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19244929)

Bullshit! It has SHIPPED 21 million - When you walk into a walmart and see 50 PSPs there - that is included in that figure. SONY only release shipped figures...........

Re:It's the N-Gage 2! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19236859)

when was the n-gage as popular?

Multi-functionality (2, Insightful)

EMeta (860558) | more than 6 years ago | (#19236523)

Woah--technology actually using its inherent capabilities? This is revolutionary! What next, the Zune playing songs from your computer's hard drive? cell phones transferring songs from one to another? A next generation operating system running faster than a previous generation? A moderation system that keeps obvious, redundant posts like this one out of the way?

Naw, some things are too crazy.

Re:Multi-functionality (1)

clonmult (586283) | more than 6 years ago | (#19238655)

Well, at least one of those can happen already. I transfered a bunch of (non DRM'd) songs from one phone to another via bluetooth.

However, being serious for a moment, there's been a lot of talk on the PSP forums about voip functionality being hidden somewhere in the PSP firmware for a good while.

But having to add a microphone onto the PSP seems a tad bit awkward. If it connects up like the camera addon, then it'll no doubt look pretty stupid, heck, even worse than the dreaded sidetalkin' N-Gage days of yore.

Re:Multi-functionality (1)

EMeta (860558) | more than 6 years ago | (#19238789)

The smart move (and what I imagine they're doing, considering the PSP's largess) would be to add a bluetooth interface module to it, and let people use their own bluetooth headsets.

Re:Not hidden (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19239623)

It isn't hidden at all. If you can decrypt the firmware (trivial if you have a homebrew capable PSP and a windows box) you can see the reference for yourself. I don't remember which file it is in but just decrypt the whole thing and grep for it.

Re:Multi-functionality (1)

Pikoro (844299) | more than 6 years ago | (#19246003)

Um. It will most likley use the same camera addon or the mic from the Talkman series. Since video calls are mentioned as well, I would go with the camera addon since it already has a mic built into it. Bluetooth would be a cool addition...

Re:Multi-functionality (0, Offtopic)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 6 years ago | (#19245717)

The PSP is so dorky--seriously Sony, lose the disc drive. The drive is so out of place on a portable that I can't believe anyone bought the thing.

well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19236717)

I still don't want one, how about the rest of you?

Re:well... (2, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#19237049)

I still don't want one, how about the rest of you?

I'm out and out boycotting Sony. How about you?

(And yes, that means I haven't seen Spiderman 3 either legally or illegally. Nor do I intend to.)

Re:well... (1)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 6 years ago | (#19237271)

I haven't seen Spiderman 3 either, but that's more a function of laziness than anything else.

I gave up on the idea of all out boycotting. If a company is doing some things right and some things wrong, giving them up completely deprives them of feedback that might otherwise push them in the right direction.

That said, Sony hasn't done anything since the launch of the PS3 to push me to buy anything of theirs again.

Re:well... (3, Insightful)

feepness (543479) | more than 6 years ago | (#19237063)

I don't want to buy one either.

Because I already have two.

$200 portable video / mp3 player (including the 4GB card) with a beautiful screen that can play PS1 games in addition to it's own mature library.

Yeah, sucker me.

Re:well... (1)

sanosuke001 (640243) | more than 6 years ago | (#19237753)

I agree. I can't stand the iPod (which a lot of /.ers have fetishes for) Most of Apple's UI's are disgusting to me. (read: all) iTunes is a POS and DRM only? bleh. Oh, and the iMoniker just makes me want to flog Jobs with a fish...

My PSP can play music (I don't ever have an urge to listen to 30GB of music anyway, 1-4GB is more than enough) and can play games. Yes, their games library is a bit shoddy and Sony shoots themselves in the foot over marketing and the poor choices they make. Even so, the PSP is much better in my eyes than most other music/video players out there.

Now, if they would only sell DVD/UMD combos for a few dollars more than a DVD alone, I might buy a few... oh, and the stop gimping their hardward, that would be nice, too :/ ....it's still better in my opinion than much of what is out there.

Re:well... (1)

(A)*(B)!0_- (888552) | more than 6 years ago | (#19238741)

"iTunes is a POS and DRM only?"
What do you mean by "DRM only"? I manage my entire library through iTunes, which is composed entirely of DRM-free mp3 files.

Re:well... (1)

niXcamiC (835033) | more than 6 years ago | (#19244671)

Perhaps he's talking about the iTunes store, which is in the process of being changed over from drm only.

Mod up (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 6 years ago | (#19242167)

Yeah my thoughts exactly. I don't own one (chose the DS instead) but my friend does, and it's a really nice piece of electronics. And even for people who don't give a shit, adding phone functionality (even if it turns out a bit cludgy or hard to use) is definitely a nice move by Sony and I applaud it.

Someone should mod down that AC.

Must remember this... (1)

FredDC (1048502) | more than 6 years ago | (#19236791)

If you see someone talking to their PSP, it could be that they don't have severe mental problems...

Re:Must remember this... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19240119)

they don't have severe mental problems...
Let's not jump to conclusions, they'd be paying for a BT VOIP service...

My Impression (2, Insightful)

VE3OGG (1034632) | more than 6 years ago | (#19237053)

I gotta say, while it is nice to see Sony promoting its platform (something it has been known to do with lackluster results), and that they seem to be thinking up creative methods to do so, I can't say this passes my simple "common sense" litmus test.

If a service launches with an obviously limited functionality, very few will buy into it (as, really, it is just a nifty gee-whiz feature). However BT (and any company investing in such a move) would require significant sales initially to show that there is profitability. OF course, no one will be terribly interested in the PSP, so the sales won't be there, and the service will likely be axed, or those "improvements" will never appear...

Just my 2c Canadian....

What about service outside Britain? (1)

KalgarThrax (984520) | more than 6 years ago | (#19237213)

This is pretty cool, what can U.S. customers hope for, I wonder?

Re:What about service outside Britain? (2, Funny)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 6 years ago | (#19246257)

a retarded president and your jobs being shipped to china... wait, you meant about the PSP-mobile thingie...

High quality video calls? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19237647)

Does the PSP have a built-in camera?

Still don't get it (0, Redundant)

svendsen (1029716) | more than 6 years ago | (#19239017)

A DS plus one of many add on kits ($30 bucks) will allow you to play music, movies, etc. Let you play tons of old GBA games and DS games from one memory stick. It's game selection is HUGE and still costs less (DS + Add on Kit) then the PSP itself. Then there is battery life....

I haven't been able to figure out the appeal of the PSP. I mean if there was a specific PSP game only that you HAD to have then sure else I'm not sure what advantages PSP gives you over DS (UMD movies...hahaha).

Re:Still don't get it (2, Insightful)

juanitoescarcha (969103) | more than 6 years ago | (#19240375)

I've got both, and use them about the same time each. The PSP is great for racing, sports games and to a lesser extent FPS (like Battlefront) (this is debatable as Metroid Prime Hunters is very good), while the DS is easier to use for a five minute interval. Games like Burnout, Winning Eleven/FIFA, Madden are very bad in the DS.

I know, those games are better in a console, but I do not have the time to play with a console. The only way I can play console games is via ports to handhelds...and only the PSP can do it, or at least a lot better than the DS.

size? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19239057)

The PSP is a brick. It is huge and weighs a ton. Plus it has a nice glossy screen that would become completely smudged after each call. (Not that people mind apparently given the number of glossy phones on the market...)

Don't get me wrong, I like my PSP but as a phone? Nah, no way. I have a, wait, what's the name.... oh yeah, a PHONE for that.

I could see its use for some multiplayer games though.

another nail in the Mylo coffin (2, Insightful)

speculatrix (678524) | more than 6 years ago | (#19239327)

seems like there's even less reason to get a Sony Mylo these days, I wonder what marketing genius at Sony decided to create it? OK, so the Mylo has Skype and a thumboard, but it's very expensive. If it weren't for the locked nature of the PSP I'm sure some entrepreneur would have produced some interesting packages for the PSP which would have made it more useful as a general purpose communicator.

Dumb questions . . . (1)

paleo2002 (1079697) | more than 6 years ago | (#19240607)

1) What is "the BT"?

2) How do you dial a PSP? No touch screen, no keypad. Are you supposed to move a cursor around on an on-screen keyboard? Kind of like naming your main character in old rpg's.

Re:Dumb questions . . . (2, Informative)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 6 years ago | (#19241871)

How do you dial a PSP? No touch screen, no keypad.

A few possibilities:
1) Push the analog nub around like a rotary phone's dial.
2) Map the D-pad, face buttons, Select, and Start to 0-9, *, and #. Impress your friends by instructing them to call you by entering the Konami Code.
3) Seriously, who even uses a keypad for dialing anymore? I select a name from a contact list when I need to make a call. A lot of automated phone systems even support voice activation instead now.

Re:Dumb questions . . . (1)

ductonius (705942) | more than 6 years ago | (#19242333)

Seriously, who even uses a keypad for dialing anymore?

Someone who wants to call anyone they've never called before?

Re:Dumb questions . . . (1)

cthellis (733202) | more than 6 years ago | (#19244115)

Heck, even for THOSE I'll typically press the Command button and say "Dial 1-555-123-4567..."

It takes longer, but half the time I'm doing it from the road, so I'd rather be safer about it. Some phones (like many of LG's new ones) are extremely repetitive when doing that, though, so it really depends on the model.

Re:Dumb questions . . . (1)

paleo2002 (1079697) | more than 6 years ago | (#19245197)

I bet they could sell the rotary dialing with the analogue stick as a retro-style feature.

But seriously, if you use this as your main phone you're going to have to download contacts from a computer (and by computer I mean a PC with clunky proprietary software) onto the phone. You won't be able to update or add to your contacts very easily. This is exactly why I don't use the calendar/datebook function on my iPod: its read-only.

Cheers (1)

vga_init (589198) | more than 6 years ago | (#19248015)

I know the Slashdot crowd is meeting this development with skepticism, but by George if Apple can pull off this kind of shenanigans with the iPhone, then Sony can do it too!
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