Engadget has revealed some incredible insider information about a new upcoming business strategy from Sony Ericsson and PlayStation that will redefine the mobile gaming landscape. The long-rumored PlayStation phone is coming and with these new details it could be an incredibly successful product for Sony. The most tantalizing aspect of this rumor (which we fully believe to be true) is that this will all be based on the Android mobile operating system.
(mockup image courtesy of Swedroid)
As for the hardware, Engadget notes that the first device created by Sony Ericsson for this new endeavor will have a mixture between XPERIA and PlayStation branding. The possible specifications are jaw-dropping, which Engadget has listed as a “cross between the Samsung Captivate and PSP Go” and they describe in further detail:
..it’s a landscape slider with game controls in place of the typical QWERTY keyboard. The D-pad is here, but instead of the small joystick, the device will have what was described as a “long touch pad” for analog controls, along with standard PSP buttons and shoulder buttons. The phone has a large display, described as being between 3.7 and 4.1 inches with WVGA or better resolution, a 5 megapixel camera that we’re told might not be final, and it’ll likely have a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU on board. The phone is mostly black with some silver highlights, and the gamepad area is white / silver in color. Those who’ve seen the phone say it looks “pretty damn sexy.”
As for the operating system, Engadget mentions that this phone will run Android 3.0 (codenamed Gingerbread), signaling that this device will not appear until later this year or perhaps early to mid 2011. We think that 2011 is a more reasonable time to expect a device like this as Sony Ericsson is notorious for announcing products early and releasing products late. This type of device will also require a high level of polish in the user experience to insure a successful launch.
Engadget goes on to describe that the Android Market on this phone will most likely sell PlayStation games:
Games will be graphically in the range of PSX or PSP games, meaning true 3D gaming is headed to Android. Titles currently being shown off seem to be focused around some older PSX as well as new PSP offerings, with God of War, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and LittleBigPlanet possibly on tap, and future plans for titles which incorporate augmented reality features.
Engadget has noted that these high quality 3D games will initially only be available for the first Sony PlayStation phone. However, its entirely possible that in collaboration with other hardware manufacturers (HTC, Samsung, etc), devices made by other companies who implement the required buttons, specifications and layout will also be able to play these games as well. This means the Android and PlayStation endeavor would not be limited to just one phone, but rather on an array of high-powered phones therefore enabling a much larger audience and consumer base.
This information means that gaming on Android is about to enter a major revolution; a revolution that it has needed and could also unseat the dominance Nintendo and Apple have enjoyed with mobile gaming. It also means that one day Android could become the dominant platform for mobile gaming.
A power play like this could really take the wind from the sails of Apple, who have stolen many consumers from Sony by integrating high quality games in their iPhone. I recently played NCAA College Football HD (by EA) optimized for the iPhone 4′s retina display and the graphics and experience felt on-par with the current PSP. In some ways, Apple has already created the experience of a PlayStation phone by courting major game software companies to make inexpensive, high quality games for its latest device.
Regardless, the reaction from the Internet has been extremely positive about the latest details surrounding the PlayStation Phone, which indicates that Sony may have finally figured out the formula to win gamers back from their rivals.
The mockup pictures in this post are simply concept images and not final representations of future products.