the feature-filled mobile phones Sony produces as part of its partnership with
Ericsson, it wouldn’t surprise many if the Japanese electronics giant
eventually released a hybrid product that incorporates both communications and
gaming functions into one unit.
release of the Apple iPhone has further fueled speculation that Sony may be
preparing a competing product that will be a mix of a Sony Ericsson phone and a
PSP handheld console.
Gamer interview with Sony Ericsson’s gaming guru Peter Ahnegard at the
Leipzig Games Convention, hints were dropped regarding the possibility of a
PlayStation-branded mobile phone.
is probably the most mature content area we have today in mobile phone and Sony
Ericsson has always reflected that, having games embedded on our handsets for
many years,” said Ahnegard, who also conceded that Sony Ericsson hasn’t yet put
the same focus on gaming as the company had on music and imaging features as it
has on its Walkman and Cyber-shot phones.
not having specifically targeted a gaming brand as of yet, the power of the
latest phones are beginning to catch up to previous generation consoles. “The
power of the phones we're creating now is phenomenal,” added Ahnegard.
“Smartphones like the W960, P1 and associated families have hardware
acceleration and OpenGL ES and are capable of providing gaming experiences on a
level similar to PSP, certainly somewhere between PS1 and PS2.”
potential challenge is that Sony Ericsson is facing is the ergonomics of
melding together phone and game. Ahnegard explained, “It's a tricky balance.
The latest craze for slim handsets doesn't really go hand-in-hand with gaming
comfort. Console controllers are bulky for a good reason and have been designed
with specific elements in mind, e.g. the need to be hardwearing, ergonomically
comfortable, etc. The same considerations go into our phones and there are lots
of elements that affect gaming performance, from the spacing between buttons to
joypad position. We have to accept that some devices simply won't be
appropriate to drive some games and, in many cases, gaming or other
entertainment content isn't the prime concern behind the design.”
Sony’s other cross-branding of its other product lines into its mobile phones,
it’s almost expected that a PlayStation phone will appear sometime in the
future. “Up until today we haven't felt we could launch a PlayStation phone
because it wouldn't be recognized as a true continuation of that brand of
products,” said Ahnegard, who then coyly added, “It's obviously something that
we're looking at but right now I can't really comment. Before Christmas,
certainly... but exactly which Christmas I can't confirm!”