Earlier today, Engadget broke an exclusive regarding Sony-Ericsson’s work on an Android gaming handset that is currently “in the late stages of planning.” There have been rumblings of a PlayStation phone for quite some time, and it seems like this device may be Sony finally delivering on those long-standing rumors.
According to Engadget, the device will feature:
- 3.7-4.1” WVGA screen
- 5MP camera (may not be final)
- Slider-phone design, but instead of a QWERTY keyboard, a gamepad
- Gamepad will have:
- Touchpad for directional controls instead of joysticks
- A standard D-pad,
- Standard PSP buttons
- Shoulder buttons
- “Likely” to have a 1GHz Snapdragon Processor
- Mostly black chassis, some silver highlights (looks like a Captivate crossed with a PSP Go)
- Will run Android OS “Gingerbread”
- Phone-specific software skin
- Will have access to a new and exclusive Android Market Games section
- Game titles will include some PSX oldies, as well as newer PSP games
Mockup Created By Engadget
Engadget has speculated the device and the new Android Market Game “ecosystem” could be available as early as October. I’m no expert, but this sounds more than a little optimistic. Given that Sony-Ericsson’s Xperia-branded phones are still chugging along with Android 1.6, I don’t see a rapid change of philosophy on their part to start releasing hardware on the bleeding edge of the Android OS.
If the device really is to run Gingerbread (whose released is only pegged as Q4 2010), seeing this phone before the holiday season would be nothing short of miraculous. Additionally, considering the processor itself is not confirmed, I wouldn’t hold my breath on seeing this thing before 2011.
And on the topic of the processor – if Sony were serious about a gaming phone, the Snapdragon would be a pretty lame choice. Samsung’s in-house Cortex A8-based Hummingbird blows the Snapdragon out of the water for 3D performance. While a Cortex A8 architecture is certainly possible for the processor (even likely), Qualcomm's Snapdragon is far from an ideal choice.
That said, none of us (outside Engadget’s insiders) know anything for certain at this point about this mystery-PlayStation phone. And regardless of the details, it’s pretty cool to know that Sony wants to take their mobile gaming division in a new direction, and to bring Android along for the ride.