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The Playstation Phone will reportedly launch early next year, packing Android 3.0 Gingerbread.  (Source: Engadget)
The next killer Android smart phone may come in familiar form

On Tuesday night images leaked of an incoming device that will almost certainly shake up the mobile phone market.  That device is the long rumored PlayStation Phone.

The photos come from a reputable source -- Engadget -- which claims that they are 100 percent authentic.  The site first reported on the device back in August, but at the time it seemed like an unsubstantiated rumor.

What is particularly surprising is that rather than go on its own into the mobile phone market, Sony is wisely choosing to saddle up with the market's hottest property -- Google's Android OS.  Reportedly, the PlayStation Phone will be powered by Android 3.0 "Gingerbread".

The device will likely launch early in 2011 and may well be one of the first Android phones to support Google's much-anticipated upcoming OS overhaul.

The phone's hardware is being designed by Sony-Ericsson, a joint-venture between the Japanese Sony and Ericsson, a Swedish cell phone maker. 

The screen is slotted to be between 3.7 and 4.1 inches (it's unclear whether a size has been selected yet).  The phone will be powered by the 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8655 the second most powerful member of Qualcomm's "Scorpion" chip family.  That chipset means that it will probably be paired with the Adreno 205 GPU, though it could well get a custom graphics processor, given its gaming focus.

The device will pack 512 MB of RAM, 1 GB of ROM, and a microSD expansion slot.  Sony may alienate some its fans in forgoing support for its Memory Stick format, but this ultimately seems like a wise decision.

Game resolution is rumored to be along the lines of the PSP/PSX.  Early titles reportedly demoed by Sony include God of War, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and LittleBigPlanet.  Users will have access both to Google's standard Android Market and to a custom Sony Marketplace.

This new device is significant in a number of ways.  First, it spells serious trouble for Apple.  As the iPhone sees its momentum bleeding away and being sucked up by Android, one of its last great draws is its superior gaming.  Now Android may be getting its own gaming powerhouse -- and with discrete controls to boot (a long-standing gripe with iPhone gaming is the lack discrete buttons).  That likely will leave Jobs and company losing plenty of sleep.

Another significant point is that the upcoming product showcases a deepening relationship between Sony and Google.  Sony has wholeheartedly thrown its enthusiasm and advertising might behind Google TV -- a new distribution of Android that looks to conquer the internet-connected TV market.  It should be interesting to see where this relationship takes both companies.

The device is reportedly currently quite buggy and its exterior is still incomplete, so the images shown are by no means a finalized case design or screen.

Still, Sony has plenty of time to iron out these issues.  And assuming it does, this may become the Android device to get early next year.  Competition may be tightening with the release of Windows Phone 7, which largely follows Android's model (multiple carriers, multiple hardware partners) and is also gaming focused.  But this upcoming handheld could steal the show if its put together with sufficient polish.


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Skeptical
By bplewis24 on 10/27/2010 12:13:59 AM , Rating: 3
I don't know. Something about the pics leave me feeling like this is somebody's pet hacking project and not a true prototype made by Sony Ericsson.

Brandon




RE: Skeptical
By retepallen on 10/27/2010 2:46:29 AM , Rating: 3
You may be right, but the idea is sound and if implemented properly could be absolutely huge.


RE: Skeptical
By quiksilvr on 10/27/2010 9:07:33 AM , Rating: 2
This is EXACTLY what Android needs. Imagine having the entire Playstation and Playstation 2 library (and PSP library I guess) on an Android device.

And its not using crazy proprietary hardware either. Technically speaking, any Android device with a 1 GHz processor and decent touch screen can implement this (maybe a mini-USB controller dongle you can attach to your phone).

This WILL be huge.


RE: Skeptical
By AmbroseAthan on 10/27/2010 10:04:12 AM , Rating: 1
I have been playing NES and SNES games on my EVO using the touch screen, but a built in controller would definitely be very helpful. The touch screen works, but pressing similtaneous buttons can be annoying/difficult.

I would be curious what their approach would be towards the Emulator/ROM community.


RE: Skeptical
By mcnabney on 10/27/2010 10:18:13 AM , Rating: 2
I imagine there won't be a MAME front-end on the Sony marketplace, but remember - one of the joys of Android is side-loading! But Phone 7 and iPhone users wouldn't know what that is.


RE: Skeptical
By Phoque on 10/27/2010 5:02:28 PM , Rating: 1
I personally doubt it will be huge as a portable game console. It may be well regarded as an improved gaming phone, as well as a very good phone, but not much else. Appart from more horsepower, it does not yet seem to offer anything new in terms of gaming, such as the nintendo 3Ds.

People looking for a phone may consider it, but I don't think it will be very popular with those looking for a portable console. You've got to realize the phone capability will probably add to the cost significantly, putting off those looking primarily for gaming.


RE: Skeptical
By SPOOFE on 10/27/2010 6:45:43 PM , Rating: 2
Remember that it's possible to be profitable without being huge (or artificially exclusive). In the smart phone market, I'd be very skeptical that any new entrant would be expected to dominate. Offering a good feature set with good performance at a good price should be the goal, instead of trying to knock one out of the park.


RE: Skeptical
By sleepeeg3 on 10/28/2010 7:57:52 PM , Rating: 2
If the camera, battery and price are there - I'd buy it in a heartbeat. I've never even been a handheld gamer fan.


RE: Skeptical
By stm1185 on 10/27/2010 2:53:39 AM , Rating: 3
I hope it succeeds and Microsoft releases a competitor for it.

Something with dual sticks and index triggers.


RE: Skeptical
By cokbun on 10/27/2010 3:25:52 AM , Rating: 3
and don't forget the 4 red rings around the screen


RE: Skeptical
By Cheesew1z69 on 10/27/10, Rating: -1
RE: Skeptical
By cokbun on 10/27/2010 3:28:36 AM , Rating: 2
and dont forget the 4 red rings around the screen


RE: Skeptical
By Flunk on 10/27/10, Rating: -1
RE: Skeptical
By quiksilvr on 10/27/2010 9:08:11 AM , Rating: 5
Star Wars.


RE: Skeptical
By Alexvrb on 10/27/2010 9:25:39 PM , Rating: 2
Or with an actual d-pad (something like a Saturn d-pad or even the new 360 d-pad). The Sony d-pad has annoyed me since the PSX. I can't stand playing fighting games on it.


RE: Skeptical
By MrBlastman on 10/27/10, Rating: 0
RE: Skeptical
By Flunk on 10/27/2010 9:07:08 AM , Rating: 2
Why? you can get memory stick readers, also this article states that it has an micro SD slot.


RE: Skeptical
By Denigrate on 10/27/2010 9:09:55 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
The device will pack 512 MB of RAM, 1 GB of ROM, and a microSD expansion slot. Sony may alienate some its fans in forgoing support for its Memory Stick format, but this ultimately seems like a wise decision.


Can you freaking read?


RE: Skeptical
By MrBlastman on 10/27/2010 9:18:20 AM , Rating: 5
I haven't obviously woken up yet. Thank you for beating me over the head with a brick. I will now drop my trow, jump on my desk, stick my head between my legs and sing a song while hopping up and down. ;)

Darned sweet tea, kick in already!

I read the "Sony may alienate some its fans in forgoing support for its Memory Stick format" and swear the microSD wasn't there when I read it, but, it probably was. Mr. Blastman comprehension... FAIL. :)


RE: Skeptical
By Denigrate on 10/27/2010 9:50:07 AM , Rating: 2
Now that was awesome! As mea culpa's go, that is easily the best I've seen. Rate this man up!


RE: Skeptical
By Anoxanmore on 10/27/2010 1:37:50 PM , Rating: 2
You like it rough don't lie. :P


"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser














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