As the (still completely unfounded) speculation about a possible PSP Phone continues to travel in circles around the internet, it has been alleged that Nintendo was at one point considering its own foray into the mobile phone sector.
Pocket Gamer carries word from a development source” that in the early 2000s an R&D project jointly run by Nokia and Nintendo was established at Nintendo's Kyoto HQ.
The project supposedly progressed as far as board level, where Nintendo execs were presented with a concept. Which they rejected. In the subsequent years Nokia went on to launch the ill-fated N-Gage and Nintendo debuted the not-so-ill-fated DS.
You have to remember Nintendo is a very conservative company,” the source stated. It always has various R&D projects on the go, but most of them are eventually rejected. It's just how it operates.”
The requirement for mobile phone users to sign up to a contract has always been seen as a big barrier for platform holders, but the huge success of the iPhone proves that – despite the failure of N-Gage – gaming machines and mobile phones can co-exist.
Whether Sony believes in this strongly enough to include some sort of telephony features in the next PSP, however, is a very big question.