Sony Ericsson Open to China Gaming Partnerships

Mobile handset maker Sony Ericsson is open to partnerships such as joint ventures in China’s gaming industry and plans to sell its new cellphone-and-videogame device, Xperia Play, in the country, Chief Executive Bert Nordberg said Tuesday.

Mr. Nordberg, who was speaking in an interview, declined to give a timeline for the device’s launch in China but said the company will need at least three months to make preparations, such as expanding the games available from Chinese developers.

Sony Ericsson, a 50-50 joint venture between Sony Corp. of Japan and Telefon AB L.M. Ericsson of Sweden, has struggled in recent years with losses and falling market share in the competitive smartphone space. It is focusing on higher-end devices running Google Inc.’s Android operating system, such as the Xperia Play, in a bid to improve its margins and raise its share of global market revenue. The company unveiled Xperia Play at the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona last month.

Xperia Play, a crossover of the popular PlayStation Portable gaming console and a cellphone, is the first attempt in years by a major manufacturer to combine cellphone and full gaming capabilities in the same product.

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