Rumour: Sony working on PlayStation phone and iPad killer
Nonetheless, it's fair to say Apple's dual iPhone and iPod touch assault, plus the forthcoming iPad, has eaten into the handheld's market share ever since the App Store made its debut.
No surprise then that the prospect of a PlayStation or PSP phone rumoured, in some form, for years has reared its head again.
This time, however, the speculation appears to be mounting and also extending to a device that includes tablet, netbook, e-reader and gaming features.
The Wall Street Journal has quoted unnamed, but apparently familiar sources as stating that Sony is actively developing a such devices due for launch in 2010 as part of its broader strategy to fight back on multiple fronts.
With iTunes rival, Sony Online Service, expected to debut in the States later this month, the likelihood of numerous devices tapping into the same marketplace appears high.
Pinning down just what this means in terms of hardware is harder to come by, however.
While the paper states Sony is "working with Sony Ericsson on a new handset", talk also suggests it plans to take a more central role in its branding any attempt to unseat the iPhone no doubt being made under the PlayStation name.
Indeed, it's suggested the smartphone could be just one part of a whole line of PlayStation products designed to compete with both iPhone and iPad.
Power of PlayStation
As such, Sony's strategy would reflect the increasing trend for games and apps to be sold across multiple device through one marketplace.
Orange yesterday revealed its plans to support Nokia and Intel's MeeGo with the same software on everything from smartphones to netbooks that run the OS.
Samsung is also considering such as strategy with its bada platform expected to work over smartphones, netbooks and TVs.
Sony itself has experimented with cross-platform delivery with the PlayStation Store on both PS3 and PSP, but it is yet to offer the sort of universal platform perfected by Apple.