Sony Turns to Playstation to Boost Smartphone Sales

Company Also Inks Deal With Verizon in U.S.

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Sony Corp. is turning to the booming PlayStation business to help its struggling smartphone division, unveiling a new mobile device with Verizon Communications that streams video games.

The new Xperia Z3v phone will go on sale in the U.S. on Oct. 23 at Verizon stores, Kunimasa Suzuki, Sony's mobile chief, said yesterday at an event in New York. The agreement adds the largest U.S. carrier for its Xperia smartphones, joining fourth-ranked T-Mobile.

"We know the challenges of building up our business," Mr. Suzuki said. "The U.S. is one of the most exciting smartphone markets in the world and of course one of the toughest."

Sony is looking for ways to bolster the flagging mobile-phone division, which led the company to record a 180 billion yen ($1.7 billion) charge this year, cut employees and cancel its dividend for the first time. Sony's devices have about 3.1% of the global market for smartphones, according to Bloomberg Intelligence data.

The new phone will let users access PlayStation 4 games remotely if they own the console and software. The Tokyo-based company said in August that more than 10 million consoles have been sold worldwide, marking the fastest growth in PlayStation's hardware history.

The company also said at yesterday's event that Verizon will be the first carrier in the U.S. for its SmartWatch 3.

--Bloomberg News

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