The long-standing consumer tech rumour that Sony is to offer a PSP phone has been given a new lease of life thanks to a report from what's arguably a highly respectable news source.

The Japanese Nikkei Business Daily states that Sony is currently considering developing a "cellphone-game gear hybrid".

The long-rumoured move is this time round thought to be a response to the iPhone, a bid to compete with the Apple mobile's gaming capabilities that means the phone is considered a threat to Sony's handheld PSP consoles.

"Sony plans to set up a project team as early as July to develop a new product that combines functions of its portable game player and Sony Ericsson's mobile phones", Reuters states from info from the Nikkei report.

This report contradicts an earlier rumour that suggested Sony was considering going it alone for the PSP phone, without Sony Ericsson, after Sony was reportedly unhappy with what Ericsson had done (or not done) with the Walkman brand.