Aug 11 AT 7:14 PM Taylor Wimberly 28 Comments

Sony Ericsson to deliver Android-powered Playstation phone?

Popular tech blog Engadget is reporting that Sony Ericsson will produce a gaming-focused Android phone that will carry the PlayStation branding, according to an unnamed trusted source. This is the first time any such plans have been revealed and I’m sure some are skeptical, but the report contains plenty of detail and some of the claims line up with other rumors floating around (while others flop).

The device is said to be based on Android 3.0 and feature a landscape slider design with game controls in place of a physical QWERTY keyboard. The source compares it to a “cross between the Samsung Captivate and the PSP Go”. The game controls will feature a direction pad, long touch pad, PSP buttons, and shoulder buttons. Other features include a display between 3.7 and 4.1 inches with WVGA or better resolution, 5 megapixel camera, and a 1 GHz CPU.

When it comes to games, a special section would be created in the Android Market for the PlayStation titles. Sony Ericsson is said to be already showing off several PlayStation brands including God of War, Modern Warfare, and Little Big Planet with future plans for “titles which incorporate augmented reality features”.

The report goes on to claim that the phone and ecosystem could be ready by October, but that would be a real stretch for Google to deliver Android 3.0. We know that Google is hard at work on the next version of their mobile OS (codenamed Gingerbread), but most reports have placed the Android 3.0 release around December or early next year.

Another odd issue with the article is the speculation that a 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon will be inside the device. The Snapdragon has one of the weakest graphics processors compared to other 1 GHz platforms, so I don’t think that would be their first choice. A more believable option would be the NVIDIA Tegra 2, which is rumored to power the Sony PSP2. NVIDIA has claimed the chipset would be ready this year and we would see it inside Android smartphones, but that has yet to happen and internet chatter is suggesting a possible delay.

Google and their partners are starting to push Android as a legitimate game platform, so it makes sense to me they would reach out to Sony for help. We already saw the two buddy up for the launch of the first Google TV set, so the relationship between the two companies appears to be growing. Other sources have claimed a Google Games service was coming and we have seen Google beef up their gaming staff, so anything is possible right now.

It would be a huge win for Google and their mobile OS if these PlayStation rumors come to life, but it sounds a little too good to be true for the moment. I definitely think it could happen down the line, but I’m struggling to believe Sony Ericsson could pull this off by October (or even 2010). Just remember, we are talking about the same company who is about to release the Xperia X10 on AT&T with last year’s Android 1.6.

Let me know what you think is going on. Could Sony Ericsson actually deliver a PlayStation phone?

Post image above is a render of what the PSP2 might look like.

Source: Engadget

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • Gonçalo Silva

    I’m really excited about this! If Google is working with Sony, I believe they can pull this off. It’s going to be *awesome*!

  • Dr.Jeckyl

    I dig that render up top. If it comes similar to that I’m sold. Hell I’m sold anyways.

  • Mike Leahy

    This is an interesting direction and I’m all for it. A Sony branded and dedicated gaming Android mobile device is a good 1st step.

    Now for the super future!!! It’d be especially awesome if Sony picks up Android for say future updates of PS3 (less likely, though bring it on please!) or even use the Android OS for a fabled PS4 (yes please / vote now!). If Android could get onto a console I’d be elated considering this would be the 1st entry point for Java game dev on consoles which has been the Achilles heel for pro Java game dev. Come on Sony!!!! Do it now… .

    • http://Website Chancy

      Android on a console? Nah…Android is best suited for a mobile platform. Console and handhelds work in completely different ecosystems.

      • Mike Leahy

        Yah… I think I just want Java so bad on a modern console I’ll stoop to crazy talk.. ;P Yah… Of course there is the cell processor and it’s a different hardware architecture obviously, but we’ll see where things go for the next gen of consoles regarding hardware architecture. My speculation is that Sony will not continue with the cell architecture. Of course Android has certain parts that are tuned for the mobile space, but dang it give me Java on a console already; it’s 2010!!!! Then there is the whole removing / preventing running Linux on the PS3 which is not a good direction per se. :: sigh :: I’m pretty darn happy that Android ups the Java mobile game at least.

      • http://Website Kenny

        At the end of the day, you never know. I seriously did not ever think Android and TV as another expansion of the OS.

  • http://Website Mani

    Yknow, I know that render up top is of PSP2 and ridiculously old, but even then, and more solidly now, I think if that’s what they model this Gingerbread-sporting SE phone, I’m going to jizz my pants.

    Just thought I’d let everyone know.

  • dswhite85

    I doubt this will ever happen, let alone succeed!!! I’ll eat my words if I get proved wrong, but this thing has flop written all over it.

    • Mike Leahy

      What’s your idea of success?

      It likely won’t be a Samsung Galaxy S, a Droid, or even an Evo 4G, but as long as it is truly gamer focused with Gingerbread, and a solid CPU/GPU combo, I’d definitely pick it up (we’ll I’m a dev so I’d get it anyway.. ;P ) By the end of the year / early next year I predict I’ll have upwards of 15 Android devices.. doh..

      Considering that one of the attractive points of Android is hardware differentiation this is possibly (if it gets released) the 1st device that targets the gamer niche. Hitting a niche is valid and it doesn’t have to necessarily be the main flagship device for any given carrier per se. As a concept it’s one we’ll see eventually I’m sure. It’s not like a lot of hardware keyboards are all to great, so good game controls and still having all the soft keyboard interaction seems just fine.

      I still proclaim Android OS for the PS4; time to make some stickers! ;P

  • http://Website Adam


  • http://Website okygaris

    i wonder it will be fail just b’coz ugly marketing

  • http://Website fred

    i hope they also make a wifi only model

  • danielmi

    Best of both worlds, proper handheld gaming and a good smartphone all in one, if they really make it a reality around October, its definitely going on top of my Xmas pressy list :P.

  • http://Website Tito!

    This idea alone won’t fail due to the fact that it’ll be more PlayStation thenn phone .

    Also, I was thinking earlier today after first reading this:
    If and when this phone becomes official, I think its highly likely to be sported by T-Mobile. Due to this fact alone, Retail stores sell & have PSP’s displayed. (:
    I also see this in AT&T branding too . For some weird reason

  • http://Website Mumps

    Well the Xprria X10 has ben available for a while in Europe, that doesn’t mean the launch is now just because now it’s released in the states…

    I’m truly excited by this!

  • http://Website JAG

    1Ghz Snapdraogn in 2012?

    Wow, amazin

    And what kind of GPU will they use?

  • http://Website Chancy

    OMFG!!!!! I swear if this ever happens I will cop it the day it comes out, straight up! Android plus REAL gaming? Hell yeah.

  • http://Website Chancy

    I just hope they make a WiFi only model. I don’t want any more stupid contracts with any networks.

  • http://Website Gomez

    This is one off the upgrades I am willing to use up on. Games have always done good in the market as far as profit and now if sony can put their game system in your hand for 24 hrs, they wil have you hooked. This phone should be on tmobile because its fast hdsp+ our what ever its called, faster 3g than 4g.

    • http://Website Drew

      Geez, I’d be happy if TMo would pick up ANY new (higher end) android phones. Im just sick of looking at my Behold II and wishing I had some options for an upgrade!

    • http://Website RS

      Here’s to hoping that either Verizon or T-Mobile gets the phone!

      I’d be willing to switch back to Verizon from T-Mobile but would never consider Sprint let alone At&t!

  • http://Website Derek

    If the phone really looked like that rendering, I’d buy it in a heartbeat. Thats EFFing sweet.

  • http://Website joe

    If this is going to happen would it make more sense to have a 1.5 ghz or better to power this .A large 4.0 screen would also make sense.

  • http://Website Cpt. Amarao

    From engadget; the buttons are tactile so i will pass, unless they put REAL buttons

  • bob1

    this look so cool But how much will it cost ???

  • http://Website XBlock

    Looks like my pocket wouldn’t like it. The physical pocket (a bit big for my taste) and the money missing from it XD Like the idea though