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Sony Ericsson "PSP" phone could threaten Apple's iOS game revenue

post #1 of 84
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An unconfirmed report claims that Sony Ericsson is at work on a Playstation-branded Android smartphone with a new gaming ecosystem.

Published by Engadget, the report cites "a trusted source" for leaked details of the upcoming device. Described as a cross between "the Samsung Captivate and the PSP Go," the phone would use PSP-style controls instead of a traditional QWERTY keyboard. It could also include a 5 megapixel camera and a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor.

With a potential release as early as October of this year, the phone would pioneer both an Android dedicated gaming ecosystem and the long-rumored PSP phone combination.

The smartphone will reportedly run Android 3.0, also known as Gingerbread. A new area of the Android Market would be created specifically for games, which could be ported from the PSP or PSX library. These games could then be brought to other Android phones, provided they meet certain specification and control requirements.

For its part, Apple has recently been ramping up its focus on mobile gaming. The Cupertino, Calif., company is developing a Game Center social gaming network for iOS 4 that will provide a centralized friend system, leaderboards, and unlockable achievements. The feature was announced in April and is slated for release this fall.

In March, Flurry Analytics reported that Apple's share of the American mobile gaming market had grown from 5% to 19% from 2008 to 2009. Apple's growth cut significantly into the Sony PSP's market share, which dropped nearly half from 20% to 11%.

In April, Apple hired a new games editor, Matt Casamassina, for the iPhone App Store. According to Casamassina, he will "be leading the charge for games on the App Store."

Apple could also be looking to purchase a Chinese game developer to advance further into the mobile gaming market. In early August, rumors said a final deal with Handseeing Information Technology Co is "close," with an estimated price of $148 million.

post #2 of 84
I'd rather not look at this as "lost revenue" but more as "strong competition". Competition makes products better. That said, this is Android (where the best stuff is only available on cutting edge and consumers have to constantly buy new phones to stay on the cutting edge), Sony (who seems to be making one majorly bad business decision after another), and PSP (which, let's face it, was a massive flop in almost every respect).
post #3 of 84
OOooooo that's gonna hurt. But Sony won't get it right the first time.
post #4 of 84
This is interesting but yet again points out the problems with Android. Every device has it's own design which game developers have a hard time developing for and will end up having bugs.

Another problem is Android users generally don't like paying for apps. Everybody likes to compare the number of apps but actual sales aren't remotely close. I've yet to hear any stories of an Android dev getting rich from their App Store.

This device might appeal to some teens but most don't care enough about gaming to have the design of the phone dedicated to it.
post #5 of 84
Personally, I never bought into Apple's declaration that their mobile platform was all of a sudden a suitable gaming system, so my expectations for Sony's effort is rather high given their storied history in this arena.

We'll See...
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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post #6 of 84
The sun "could" explode too!
post #7 of 84
wow... whats up with these people... ill believe it when i see it.... it would take a while to catch up to apple... and Nokia hasn't exactly been putting out to great of phones recently...
post #8 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorotea View Post

The sun "could" explode too!

No kidding. Whatever.
post #9 of 84
This phone could be soooooooo awesome. I'd heard rumors of a playstation phone, just assumed it would suck because they try and do their own OS. By teaming with Android to build something, this could be really great!

I don't think Sony will screw this up, its such a good idea in the first place. Very ambitious. They're going to really have to blow it for this not to be a hit.

I'm still stuck on my iPhone, and am not a big enough gamer for this, but damn.
post #10 of 84
Nintendo wrote Sony off recently - I think they said something like Apple was the only real competition in the handheld space now. But this could be big for Sony and - if the games are portable to other Android handsets - big for the Android platform as well. Of course Sony has managed the PSP pretty badly, especially the last couple of years, so we'll see.
post #11 of 84
If Sony want to make an impact they need to build PSN and a games division for Android, not just Sony phones.

They could still maintain control (or rather - they have to, to make it work) by certifying minimum requirements for phones to have the Android PSN.

I've got a feeling the won't be able to put something together fast enough though. Apple are furiously copying Xbox Live at the moment and they will no doubt have a solid product in place in 12 months.
post #12 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorotea View Post

The sun "could" explode too!

The sun is going to explode
post #13 of 84
This will sell nearly twice as many units and Microsoft did with the Kin

John Gruber

Sony doesn't know what Americans want and expect. See X10 for more info...
post #14 of 84
Sounds like a desperation move by Sony if they adopt Android. Instead of "strong competition" it sounds more like "Sony's death rattle".

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post #15 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbarriault View Post

I'd rather not look at this as "lost revenue" but more as "strong competition". Competition makes products better. That said, this is Android (where the best stuff is only available on cutting edge and consumers have to constantly buy new phones to stay on the cutting edge), Sony (who seems to be making one majorly bad business decision after another), and PSP (which, let's face it, was a massive flop in almost every respect).

I totally agree! PSP, including the PSP Go, has failed and I don't think PSP Phone, if and when it even comes out, would be any threat to Apple GameCenter initiatives. Interesting thing is that even I believe the gaming for iOS is going to become more prevalent on iPad in future, as that experience is even richer than iPhone/iTouch. I don't Apple needs to be worried here.
post #16 of 84
PSP Phone for Gamers

iPhone for you, your dad, mom, brother, sister, grandma, grandpa, girlfriend, your neighbor, your dog, cavemen, the 2 a.m. wh*re at Sunset and Vine in Hollywood, everyone...

I'm sure the hardcore playstation boys would love this.

Maybe Microsoft will follow with an Xbox phone...
post #17 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

PSP Phone for Gamers

iPhone for you, your dad, mom, brother, sister, grandma, grandpa, girlfriend, your neighbor, your dog, cavemen, the 2 a.m. wh*re at Sunset and Vine in Hollywood, everyone...

I'm sure the hardcore playstation boys would love this.

Maybe Microsoft will follow with an Xbox phone...

I guess you didn't get the memo: X-Box Live is an integral part of Windows Phone 7.
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"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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post #18 of 84
As a provider of consumer electronics, from my standpoint, Sony has done very poorly the last several years. Sony used to be a quality brand but I had nothing but trouble with all the Sony stuff that I had purchased several years ago so I stopped buying Sony electronic products. Don't have a clue about their VAIO systems but they seem to garner some respect in the PC world but I have never been interested in them.

Their gaming systems were different. The PS2 was nice but after the Wii, we haven't purchased anything Sony(or anything else) after that. I am not much into gaming anymore so I don't really know about the PS3 or the PSP but Sony had done a good job with their games. Although Sony has been off the mark by a good deal lately, they could, in games more than any other arena, pull off something that people want, IMO.

But this is just a rumor, right?

Neal
post #19 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

I guess you didn't get the memo: X-Box Live is an integral part of Windows Phone 7.

i guess you didn't get what i meant. i meant an xbox phone like how sony is rumored to be planning with controls and all... maybe nintendo will also follow with a DS phone...

oh and i wasn't serious about the xbox phone... c'mon man.
post #20 of 84
I think this phone will be a flop, they couldn't sell the stand alone version. now they want you to get a contract for one.
post #21 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by aimbdd View Post

wow... whats up with these people... ill believe it when i see it.... it would take a while to catch up to apple... and Nokia hasn't exactly been putting out to great of phones recently...

You have $500 to spend ($100 subsidized):

Would you buy a portable game player that could make phone calls

or

a portable phone that could play games?

,
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post #22 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Sounds like a desperation move by Sony if they adopt Android. Instead of "strong competition" it sounds more like "Sony's death rattle".

...and that's kind of a shame-- really!

,
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post #23 of 84
It "could", theoretically, do just that. But then the zune HD "could" have done that to the iPod touch. When's the last tiem you heard anyone mention a zune HD?

Sony is a bit part in the portable gaming space. Why even bother worring about a vapourware Sony Ericsson PSP Phone running an as-yet unseen custom version of an as-yet unreleased version of Android? Sure it could threaten iOS Game Revenues, but you know something? Nintendo's 3DS will threaten iOS Game Revenues.

And the 3DS is going to blow any offering from Sony (PSP, PSP Phone, PSP2) so thoroughly apart that it won't even be funny.

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post #24 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sector7G View Post

I think this phone will be a flop, they couldn't sell the stand alone version. now they want you to get a contract for one.

whats with all the people saying this stuff? The PSP has sold 60 million units. Thats called selling quite well actually considering Wii has only sold 73 million units. It is far from "not selling at all." Its the Playstation 3 that isn't selling that well, and people only say that because they are comparing it to the Playstation 2. But actually 38 million units sold is decent. Its not great but it isn't bad either, its only bad when compared to the original Playstation and the Playstation 2.

On another note, If they make a phone with this ecosystem I hope they make a stand alone equivalent and put Playstation 2 games on Playstation Network. I would buy it if it was a stand alone unit or had a stand alone unit option, probably wouldn't buy it if it were a phone though...
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post #25 of 84
This will be a big gain for Android but little gain or even potential loss for Sony. Sooner HTC or Samsung will comes up with this Android game platform and basically eat away Sony market share further.
post #26 of 84
Sony spent 10 years trying to compete with the iPod, and almost went out of business trying. Sony Ericsson were in business years before iPhone emerged, and still they cannot compete.

PSP phone? How about walkman phone? No, no no, how about Cybershot phone? Sony Vaio/Cybershot/PSP, that will be the real iPhone killer. That will really get Apple out of business.
post #27 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The smartphone will reportedly run Android 3.0, also known as Gingerbread. A new area of the Android Market would be created specifically for games, which could be ported from the PSP or PSX library. These games could then be brought to other Android phones, provided they meet certain specification and control requirements.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

If Sony want to make an impact they need to build PSN and a games division for Android, not just Sony phones.

They could still maintain control (or rather - they have to, to make it work) by certifying minimum requirements for phones to have the Android PSN.

I've got a feeling the won't be able to put something together fast enough though. Apple are furiously copying Xbox Live at the moment and they will no doubt have a solid product in place in 12 months.

Did you not read the article?
post #28 of 84
That sounds like PSP games won't play on it, and PSP Go games won't play on it, and... yeah, you get the idea. Buy this phone, then re-buy all your games. Let me know how that works out for you, Sony.
post #29 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by OC4Theo View Post

Sony spent 10 years trying to compete with the iPod, and almost went out of business trying. Sony Ericsson were in business years before iPhone emerged, and still they cannot compete.

PSP phone? How about walkman phone? No, no no, how about Cybershot phone? Sony Vaio/Cybershot/PSP, that will be the real iPhone killer. That will really get Apple out of business.

Really? Can you please explain, and provide details, particularly financial details of Sony's near demise related to their activities in the portable music player segment. I have to wonder about your assertion, if only because you know that the iPod was introduced on Oct. 23, 2001 (which is less than 10 years from today), and the iPod did not come to be the dominant force it is until the release of iTunes for Windows, which was introduced on Oct. 16, 2003. So I am not sure how Sony spent a decade trying to compete against a product that has been on the market for less than a decade.
post #30 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreadkid08 View Post

whats with all the people saying this stuff? The PSP has sold 60 million units. Thats called selling quite well actually considering Wii has only sold 73 million units. It is far from "not selling at all." Its the Playstation 3 that isn't selling that well, and people only say that because they are comparing it to the Playstation 2. But actually 38 million units sold is decent. Its not great but it isn't bad either, its only bad when compared to the original Playstation and the Playstation 2.

On another note, If they make a phone with this ecosystem I hope they make a stand alone equivalent and put Playstation 2 games on Playstation Network. I would buy it if it was a stand alone unit or had a stand alone unit option, probably wouldn't buy it if it were a phone though...

The PSP has been out almost two years longer than the Wii. Also, the Wii is not it's competition. The DS is and has sold 132 million since 2004. The PSP was actually better of using UMD discs than this download they chose for the PSP Go. That has been a failure on all fronts plain and simple.
post #31 of 84
meh, i won't write it off before it's released. competition is good.
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post #32 of 84
It could but... I dunno. Sony is a really dysfunctional company these days. It will probably take them a year to release it and it will have few games on launch. It will have to compete against 150 million iOS devices and another 100 million Android devices with dozens of models on the market. There's a very good chance they'll do their own Sony Games SDK or use a unique button layout to ice out other Android handset makers from getting the benefits of a good gaming platform. In the end I think it will be a flop. If it had come out 2 or 3 years ago though...
post #33 of 84
I wish apple would buy some content. Getting dangerous now.
post #34 of 84
Not going to work.
Sony is only in it because Google is throwing money around from their ad business on mobile devices. Also, the carriers are going to charge a lot so you can play. They ain't going to sit buy and watch as you get jiggy and not get their cut.
And also, where are you going to be downloading the games? In the bus. Not with games consisting of millions of bytes of data. You better be at a wifi hotspot. Good luck being a grown man or a broke a** kid looking for a wifi hotspot in order to download a 1.5 giga byte game from one network that will take about 45 minutes. Then you have to find someone to play with. Hopefully Sony plans on putting that phone on every network. Yeah, that phone would have to be on every network to work the right way.
Ain't going to work.
post #35 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckh1272 View Post

The PSP has been out almost two years longer than the Wii. Also, the Wii is not it's competition. The DS is and has sold 132 million since 2004. The PSP was actually better of using UMD discs than this download they chose for the PSP Go. That has been a failure on all fronts plain and simple.

I don't normally post on Apple Insider as I believe it's for Apple followers, which I am no longer since my iBook died. While I do develop games for both iOS and Android, I try to stay out of you guys/gals conversations.

However, sometimes you guys post off the wall stuff unrelated to Apple that deserves correction. Your comment about the psp would indicate that you either don't own a psp or you used it 2x and decided your iphone was a better gaming platform. Either way, you're wrong about the UMDs. These little pieces of crap plastic are a total waste as they break so easily you're constantly looking for receipts to try to get the game fixed our returned for another one. I bought the psp for my 8 year old only to find those damn umds all over the floor, outside their protective covers. My son stopped playing the umd games and took the download options instead. No disk, no worries.

The pspgo is upsetting hardcore gamers because old umds simply can't be played on the pspgo, forcing people to buy their games over again. But this isn't a limitation enforced by Sony, rather by the game publishers seeking double revenue.

If Sony were to create a psp phone, it wouldn't matter much to the iOS platform because of the barriers of entry that Sony places on their licensees that developed games for Sony's platforms. The cost of the psp and playstation sdks and licenses would drive a indie developer broke. Compare that to iOS, about $1,300 ($100 for distribution, $700 for decent mac mini, $200-$800 for a testing device (optional but recommended)), or Android, about $225 ($25 for distribution, $0 for computer since it's likely you already have one, $200 for testing device), to Sony's $10,000 minimum license per platform and you'll see why this won't have much impact.

Sure it will be great for Android, but we already have a PSX emulator for high powered phones out of China (where IP is a myth, apparently). The difference is we won't have to question the legality of downloading games from the net or converting over all these old psx discs I have to iso files. But I think this is Sony's way of keeping customers who are growing up and putting the games away for more communication options, that happen to play games too.

Will this be a flop? Depends on how many psp lovers are moving to the iphone or android for their gaming fix. If Sony's goal is to slow that number, then we won't be able to compare it to iphone or android sales as a whole. You'd have to separate those small group of players that crossed over, and that's a harder thing to measure.
post #36 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by danbirchall View Post

That sounds like PSP games won't play on it, and PSP Go games won't play on it, and... yeah, you get the idea. Buy this phone, then re-buy all your games. Let me know how that works out for you, Sony.

Did you rebuy all your PS2 games on PS3? No, you bought brand new PS3 games.

This new device, which makes a lot of sense if you actually think about it, would have brand new PSP Phone games on it.

It will also surely plug into Sony's PSN store for games, which would be unavailable to non PSP Phone devices. Sony will want it's exclusive IP well protected and kept off non Sony Android phones. Sony will also surely make a non phone version, just like the iPod Touch, which would be a direct replacement for the PSP Go.

It's also worth noting that Sony already have their own iTunes clone (it's called Media Go), from which people can buy games, movies, comics etc and transfer them to their PSP.
post #37 of 84
Good luck to Mr Casamassinanissianamassia. A PSP + Android combo will be pretty hard to beat.
post #38 of 84
Sony will do the same as they do with all their products and make it a real pain to actually get games onto the thing and massively overprice the thing. I used to have a great Sony Trinitron TV I'd plug my Amiga into, I think that was the last piece of Sony kit that was actually any good.
post #39 of 84
There could be some truth to this if the PSP platform were actually selling well. It isn't and has been dying a long slow death. If Apple were to be afraid of anyone it would be nintendo with the 3DS. But the current DS platforms seem happy to coexist with the iPhone.
post #40 of 84
android 3.0 goodness and a phone that plays games with BUTTONS for use as input... I think this PSP would wipe the floor with anything else in mobile phone gaming...
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