It seems the blogosphere is abuzz with the news that an EU trademark for the name Xperia Play has been awarded to Sony Ericsson, filed the first of the month.
Companies file for trademarks a lot, so we'll see if this name pans out. If it does, it'll quite possibly be the worst marketing decision by Sony Ericsson yet, and may indicate that the Sony mother-ship wants to reserve the Playstation phone name for a later, cooler, probably proprietary-OS device. So, you may actually want this rumor not to be true.
It's not the PlayStation-related Android announcement we were hoping Sony would make, but the Official PlayStation app is still (sort of) intriguing in and of itself. Version 1.0 of the app will be coming soon to both our beloved Android Market and the iOS App Store, though we here in the States will be left out of the fun initially. For those lucky enough to live in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, or the Netherlands, (the areas where the app will be available upon launch) here's what you have to look forward to:
Check out your PlayStation Network trophies and keep up to date with your friends’ games and online status.
By now we've already seen the PlayStation Phone in a video or two, a number of pictures, and the usual batch of rumors. However, one of the few things we haven't known about the device is what its camera will be like. Well as of today, you can officially cross camera quality off the list of unknowns - four pictures taken by a certain "Sony Ericsson Zeus" have just hit Picasa:
A little digging revealed that all of these pictures were captured by a 5MP camera (with an aperture rating of 2.4 and a focal length of 4.1mm), and as the second one shows, it is indeed accompanied by a flash.
Well, this one's a bit special, isn't it? In a marked shift from the traditional blurrycam espionage, what we have here is a nice, calmly filmed tour of the no-longer-mythical Zeus device. While there isn't a great deal of new information presented in the video, we do catch a glimpse of a PlayStation icon in the menus. The software is labeled Gingerbread in the About screen, despite a distinctly Froyo-esque appearance. As for the hardware, the Zeus sports an impressively large display and a curvy (if rather large) waist-line. We also get a glimpse of the camera and flash on the back, as well as several Sony Ericsson logos in various places.
Bert Nordberg, the CEO of Sony Ericsson, told the Wall Street Journal in a recent interview that “there’s a lot of smoke, and I tell you there must be a fire somewhere” when asked about the PlayStation phone rumors and leaks. Nordberg also said that Sony Ericsson plans to "make a lot of noise" with a new product at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February 2011. Could this be the famed PlayStation phone? Possibly.
Nordberg also stated in the interview that there are some major challenges in developing a gaming-oriented smartphone. Overall, the toughest part seems to be securing rights from game developers.
Remember that Sony Ericsson PlayStation phone we heard about back in August? Turns out it's not only real, but a prototype is out and about in the wild - and Engadget has landed themselves some surprisingly clear and detailed pictures of the device. Better still, it looks pretty close to the renders we saw in August - surprising, given the track record for Android rumors.
Between the PlayStation moniker and the slide-out gamepad, I think it's pretty clear that this beastie will be marketed as a gaming phone. In support of that fact, word has it that the phone will support a custom Sony Marketplace with games specifically designed for the platform - if they can garner enough developer support, that should be a fairly nice selling point.
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
“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.
ZodTTD and yongzh have released Android’s first PlayStation emulator application, now available in the Android Market for $6.99USD. Remember, that $6.99 does not get you any games or a working BIOS (required to run the emulator), you have to “legally” obtain these on your own time (please do not post links to ROMs or BIOS images in comments, they will be deleted).
But words don’t really do this justice, hit the jump for some sexy video:
Ridge Racer, Final Fantasy, Earthworm Jim, and Warcraft on Galaxy S
A few images of Lollipop running on an Xperia phone have hit the web, and the most noticeable takeaway is what Sony has done to the navigation buttons.
The full-size screenshots can be found over in the original XperiaBlog post. All we care about is what's visible at the bottom of each. To put things simply, Sony has changed the icons, and not necessarily for the better.
Here are the on-screen navigation buttons on a Nexus device.
And here's what we're shown on an Xperia device running Lollipop.
In place of the circle that Google uses as the home button, Sony has inserted a house.
There's something magical about trading places with game developers, getting to apply your own creativity to produce levels that put all others to shame (and preferably without having to know a single line of code). LittleBigPlanet has provided this thrill on PlayStation platforms for years, letting players create their own two-dimensional stages and share them with others. Mario Maker will give Mushroom Kingdom lovers their own chance to thwart their favorite plumber's efforts to rescue Princess Peach.
In Adventure Time Game Wizard, you can create side-scrolling levels from the comfort of an Android phone or tablet. The tools are in place to spawn challenging stages all on-screen, but more dedicated types can draw out levels on graph paper and scan them into the app using the camera.