TechnoStorm

Skype debuts on PlayStation Vita game handsets

Skype made its debut Tuesday on PlayStation Vita, making its leading Internet video or voice calling service available on Sony's sophisticated videogame handset.

A Skype application for PS Vita devices began rolling out to PlayStation Store in the United States and was due to become available for download in Europe and Asia on Wednesday.

The service includes free calls between Skype users along with video call capabilities that take advantage of front- and rear-facing cameras on PS Vita handsets. Low rates are charged for other calls.

Sony's slick handheld videogame gadget hit major markets around the world in February as the Japanese entertainment titan bucked a trend towards play on smartphones.

Sony packed movies, music and the Internet into PS Vita handsets, along with what it called the "biggest and best launch lineup" of games in PlayStation history.

Vita handsets that link to the Internet with Wi-Fi only were priced at $250 in the United States, while models also capable of connecting to 3G telecom networks were priced at $300. AT&T is the exclusive US carrier for Vita.

The Japanese film, music and consumer electronics colossus has sold more than half a million Vita devices since it launched in Asia in December, according to executives.

Vita made its worldwide debut in Japan on December 17 and was released elsewhere in Asia close to the end of the month.

The next-generation PlayStation Vita aims to take a bite out of the growing smartphone games market.

US technology giant Microsoft last year made an $8.5 billion deal to buy Skype.

Skype users can make low-cost or free phone calls over the Internet using their computers or smartphones. Skype bypasses the standard telephone network by channeling voice and video calls over the Web.

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