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.
BT will be Sony's lead carrier across all of its territories and will cooperate with other communications providers to help deliver the service. And as if that news isn't stultifyingly massive enough, it looks likely that the service will launch in the UK first.
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 services debut, additional features will be launched to enable calls and messages to PCs, fixed lines and mobiles.
Considering the lack of a PSP mic, we're willing to bet our copies of LocoRoco that Sony will announce some sort of special bespoke hardware support package to roll out alongside the service, including a mic. And Sony's already-planned add-on camera and microphone combo for the PSP, known as the Go!Cam, will hit shelves in the UK on May 25th (we've already got one in for review).
Looks like Sony has been working on a PSP phone after all, sort of. More on this as soon as we have it!
Update: According to the BBC, more details of the BT service will be released at the Leipzig Games Convention in August.