New handheld details emerge, Sony’s answer to the iPad?

The Wall Street Journal is suggesting that Sony have a new iPad-eque handheld in the works.

“Sony is developing a portable device that shares characteristics of handheld game machines, e-book readers and netbook computers, according to people familiar with the matter,” the newspaper reported.

The article also goes on to claim that both Sony and Nintendo have spoken to Japanese mobile phone carrier NTT DoCoMo about the possibility of 3G in handheld gaming devices.

Despite all this chat, however, the newspaper did not claim the device was a PlayStation Portable successor. It’s more likely that this is the Japanese giant’s answer to Apple’s iPad/iPhone.

It’s not the first time rumours have surfaced about the possibility of a new Sony handheld. Earlier reports suggested the PSP2 would be like “iPhone on steroids”, and that it would feature a touch-screen and two cameras, for release next year.

There was also some talk of an E3 2010 appearance for a new Sony handheld. However, as far as official word goes, the wait continues.