Wall Street Journal: Sony’s New Handheld with 3G Capability?

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According to a Wall Street Journal report today, Sony might just be working on their next-generation video-game handheld. Quotes from executives at NTT DoCoMo, a major Japanese wireless carrier, indicate that they’ve been talking to the major Japanese game hardware manufacturers about integrating 3G into the next round of devices.

Of course, Sony and Nintendo are always cagey about that next round of devices. Nintendo’s revealed a bit about the 3DS but there may be more that we don’t know about. Meanwhile, the WSJ talks to unnamed sources who say that the new Sony handheld will have “characteristics of hand-held game machines, e-book readers and netbook computers.” Major consumer electronics companies are always developing new products, but those hints make it sound like the House of Playstation may be trying to build a iPad-killer.

I don’t need to downloading new maps or engaging in real-time multiplayer when I’m commuting to work, especially since NYC subways take me underground where cell signal don’t penetrate. Whatever tactic Sony takes, recent numbers show that their handheld business needs a serious booster shot. I personally don’t think I need 3G in a handheld gaming device, though.