Could Sony make a PlayStation Vita phone?

Sony buying out Ericsson means tighter control over phones, but there's one phone move that Sony should, and hopefully will, make.

Add voice calling, and you have a phone. CNET

Two things leap to mind this morning:

1. Sony has acquired Ericsson's part of Sony Ericsson for $1.74 billion.
2. The PlayStation Vita handheld has a 3G version, and will be released in the U.S. next year.

Somehow, can Sony's full control over the mobile phone unit lead to what I've been hoping for for years--a true PlayStation phone, preferably in the form of a revamped Vita?

While the logical thinker might say no, consider the odd forgotten Xperia Play and its failed attempt to mesh an Android phone with vestiges of a PlayStation experience: a control pad with buttons, but no analog sticks. Downloadable PlayStation games, but old, old-school PS1 titles, not PS2 or PSP games. When I played the Xperia Play months ago, it already seemed clear to me that the PS Vita was the true PlayStation phone, even without technically being a phone.

The Vita, Sony's next-generation gaming handheld, has a U.S. release that's been pushed to February 2012. There is, indeed, a 3G version of the Vita in development for use on AT&T's network, although at this point it doesn't appear to handle voice calls.

The iPhone only continues to get stronger as a gaming device. Sony has the rare ability to build a phone and gaming hardware into one device. Why not take advantage?

Do you agree? Would you even want a Vita Phone? Or, do you think handheld gaming has run its course? Sound off below.

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