Shuhei Yoshida, president of SCE worldwide Studios, has told Edge that Sony considered including phone functionality in the NGP in its early stages of development.
Top-range models of NGP will come with support for an always-on 3G connection like today's common smartphone. When asked if Sony thought about including phone call capabilities with that, Yoshida replied: "Yeah, at the very beginning of NGP development we looked at options - what did we want in terms of voice capabilities?"
"What we decided was, yes, we want 3G but having [cellular] voice will limit us in terms of designing the gaming experience," he added, explaining, "For example the 5-inch OLED screen - you wouldn't have a 5-inch screen on a smart- or cell- phone, it wouldn't fit in your pocket.
"We really love the features of social network games like on Facebook - always connected and easy to challenge friends and see what they're doing. We wanted to bring those social network features to our gaming. So we decided let's have 3G but no [cellular] voice - we don't need it. For game communication like voice-chat we don't need cellular voice, we can always go over IP."
Sony Ericsson recently released the PlayStation-certified Xperia Play phone this year, otherwise known as the PlayStation Phone.