Recently, tech site Engadget posted photographs of what they believed to a be a genuine prototype “PlayStation Phone”, a custom-produced handset that would sport both the next-generation Android 3.0 OS as well as a custom Sony Marketplace from which users could purchase proper games. With a design that emulate the sliding-out screen design of the PSPgo, this potential PlayStation would boast 1 GHz processor, 512MB of Ram, and 1 GB of Rom, shaming the current PSP’s 333MHz processor and 32MB of RAM.
The introduction of the PlayStation brand onto cell phones could represent a big step for a division that has been notorious for not applying the PlayStation name to any old product. The Phone looks like it’s taking direct aim at the iPhone and the app store, and that battle will be fought by providing a handheld experience that’s actually ideal for portable gaming because not only does the PlayStation Phone feature a traditional D-pad and actual, physical buttons you can press, but that center rectangle between the pad and buttons is, apparently, a multi-touch input pad that could be used to replicate analog stick movement and control.
You could argue that using a touch pad as a fake analog stick hasn’t been an ideal control mechanism in the past (remember in Super Mario 64 DS where Nintendo recommended that you use the rubber nub on the DS strap and place that on the touch screen, and that was supposed to be adequate analog control?), but, if nothing else, some button-ass buttons could definitely help to put more traditional games on a phone platform.
Of course, technically this PlayStation Phone is all just a rumor. Engadget swears that the pictures and the leaked specification are the real deal, and that Sony plans to release the phone sooner rather than later. But, as we should all be accustomed to, it isn’t that hard to make a convincing-ish mock-up of a tech device.
In fact, as the story of the PlayStation Phone came out, it seemed that the allegation of the pictures as fake mock-ups had taken hold, boosted particularly when website NowGamer contacted a Sony Europe representative for comment, only to hear back that the shots were “definitely fake.” That’s a pretty firm denial from a company that’s normal reply to these sort of stories Is the standard “No comment on rumors or speculation” reply.
... except that, several hours later, Sony Europe--as well as Sony’s Ericsson division (the group that makes the phones) actually changed their earlier denial of the shots’ voracity to “No comment on rumors or speculation.” Whether or not the phone is actually real, Sony’s change in response has seemed to confirm the PlayStation Phone’s existence all on its own.
Rumor or not (and, as of right now, Engadget is still saying not rumor), I put the question behind this PlayStation Phone to you folks; let’s say that Sony is releasing a handset with an emphasis on playing both casual games as well as more traditional titles. The phone is (ideally) backed by Sony’s suite of first party developers as well as third parties who would could build their titles around a D-pad, real buttons, and (potentially) dual analog stick control. You’ve got a PlayStation application store that has both “real” PlayStation Phone titles as well as the smaller “PlayStation Minis” section where you could buy cheaper, smaller games. It's a phone that is, as good for playing handheld games as a traditional handheld. Is this a phone you would be interested in owning?