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Sony PlayStation and B&N look to Android for games and books

by Kristen Nicole

Sony PSP

Mobile gaming has made leaps and bounds since smartphones entered the scene, bringing powerful systems for running multiplayer, live games and titles with great graphics. So why wouldn’t a gaming company want to tap into the device even a gamer’s bound to have -- a cell phone?

Sony (SNE) has been dropping hints towards a PlayStation phone for some time, but today brings the first glimpses of the device. Details are still sparse, but the Android-powered game phone is expected to run on Android 3.0, and could feature a 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8655 chip, 512MB of RAM, 1GB of ROM, and a 3.7 to 4.1 inch screen.

High hopes for Android OS

The 3.0 OS would be an interesting move for Sony, though there are few details about the upcoming operating system. Google’s (GOOG) frequent and staggered OS updates are creating friction within developer and user groups, particularly in Asia where developers are hoping for more Chrome integration and app unity within Google’s mobile platform, reports ZDNet.

A colorful Nook

Sony isn’t the only company hoping to expand its brand reach through an Android device. Barnes & Noble (BKS) has launched the Nook Color, which is taking aim at Kindle, the iPad and other eReader devices on the market. Interestingly enough, Amazon (AMZN) is also looking to build a reader on Android, and is already taking steps to launch an Android app marketplace.

The 7-inch touch screen Nook Color provides access to digital books, magazines and newspapers, and also includes a section for children’s books, which look great with rich color detail. The device also comes with a full web browser and a handful of games, along with the Pandora app and basic Microsoft Office tools.