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Sony and Skype Team Up To Bring Internet Phone to PSP

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This month, a service will be launched on Sony’s latest PSP model that will allow free online calls between PSP owners and psersonal computer users. Customers can also subscribe (read: fee) to a Skype service that designates a phone number to them, allowing the user to make and receive phone calls.

Associated Press

TOKYO: Users of Sony’s PlayStation Portable game console can soon make free Skype Internet phone calls under a deal struck between the two companies, a news report said Saturday.

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. and Skype Technologies SA will launch the service this month on the PSP’s latest model released in September, according to a report in the business daily, Nikkei.

The new service enables free online calls between PSP owners and personal computer users, the Nikkei said.

PSP owners can also sign up for a fee-based Skype service that gives them a dedicated phone number for making and receiving phone calls. That service is expected to cost 2,250 yen (US$20.60; ?13.99) for three months, the report said.

Users need to download Skype software to their PSPs, and get a microphone designed specifically for online chats and Internet phone calls, the report said.

Phones at Sony’s headquarters in Tokyo went unanswered Saturday.

Sony’s computer entertainment unit has been looking to boost offerings other than video games for its PSP, which faces stiff competition from Nintendo Co.’s double-screened DS console.

In November, the company launched a TV tuner for the PSP in Japan, as well as a slimmer version of the portable console.

Skype, a popular U.S.-based online telephony service, claims 246 million users worldwide. The company was acquired by eBay Inc. in 2005.

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