Speculation has it that Sony will release the new PlayStation Phone, an Android-powered device that represents the next evolution of its top-selling PlayStation Portable (PSP) series. Here’s a leaked image of the phone. Engadget writes that the PlayStation Phone will…
likely (boast) Android 3.0 (aka Gingerbread), along with a custom Sony Marketplace which will allow you to purchase and download games designed for the new platform. The device snapped up top (and in our gallery below) is sporting a 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8655 (a chip similar to the one found in the G2, but 200MHz faster), 512MB of RAM, 1GB of ROM, and the screen is in the range of 3.7 to 4.1 inches…the handset does indeed have a long touchpad in the center which is apparently multitouch, and…it’s still bearing those familiar PlayStation shoulder buttons.
You can also plug in a memory stick.
The PlayStation Phone will let users download apps and games from the Sony Marketplace. This could be a big financial boon for Sony, especially if the PlayStation Phone gains the kind of traction that the PSP series has. I don’t see any reason that it won’t. Even if Sony makes the PlayStation Phone expensive, it has a solid enough fan base that the product will probably sell well.
The PSP Go already came with Skype, so the PlayStation Phone would simply up the ante on an already popular, capable device. The pervasive gaming potential of this device could be a huge selling point. Imagine meeting a rival or partner in, say, an airport waiting area, and teaming up to play Resident Evil 5 with another PlayStation Phone owner? Or playing one of the Grand Theft Auto series while sitting on a bus?
This is all, of course, assuming that the PlayStation Phone is more than a mere rumor. The Washington Post’s Rob Pegoraro says don’t get your panties in a twist about this phone yet:
Unless Sony has an exceptional software emulator or compatibility layer up its sleeve, this hybrid won’t run existing titles without a rewrite. Its earlier attempts at smartphones, while technically impressive at times, have gone nowhere in the market. So have earlier attempts at building gaming-first phones, such as Nokia’s epically failed N-Gage.
He points out, correctly, that Apple’s white iPhone has been delayed until next spring, and could simply be code for Verizon iPhone. But building all this hype certainly isn’t hurting Apple or Sony (or, if yesterday’s rumors rang true, Apple-Sony).