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Leaked photos detail Sony's Android-powered 'PlayStation Phone'

post #1 of 59
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Leaked photos of a prototype device suggest that Sony could be planning to take on Apple's iPhone with a new Google Android-powered "PlayStation Phone," combining the company's PlayStation Portable platform with a smartphone.

Pictures and details obtained by Engadget this week show a device made by Sony Ericsson with slide-out physical controls, much like Sony's PSP Go gaming device. The device, referred to in the report as the "PlayStation Phone," has the same button layout as Sony's other PlayStation-branded devices.

The prototype device reportedly has a 1GHz Qualcomm chip, 512MB of RAM, 1GB of internal storage, and a screen between 3.7 inches and 4.1 inches in size. The slide-out controls for gaming also include a touchpad that is said to be multi-touch.

The report said the device, said to be running Google's "Gingerbread" Android 3.0, is expected to hit the market soon. It will also allegedly have a custom Sony Marketplace, much like Apple's App Store, that will allow users to purchase and download games.

After some doubt over the pictures surfaced, Engadget issued another report to reaffirm its confidence that the scoop is legitimate. Editor Joshua Topolsky said the device -- known by the codename "Zeus" -- was "confirmed through multiple, trusted sources."



The popularity of games on Apple's iPhone and other devices powered by iOS has had a significant impact on sales of portable gaming devices like Sony's PlayStation Portable. Earlier this year, a report indicated that iOS had carved out a 19 percent share of profits in the portable gaming market, eclipsing Sony's PSP, which was said to be at 11 percent.

In 2009, Sony sought to fend off the iPhone and its low-priced digital App Store downloads with the release of the PSP Go, a revised version of the PlayStation Portable that ditched physical media, requiring users to download software directly to the device. The PSP Go, however, has failed to make a splash in the portable gaming market a year after its launch.

This week's leaked information would suggest that Sony is looking to integrate the PlayStation Portable platform, and the digital download service introduced with the PSP Go, to its line of Sony Ericsson smartphones. And the leaked information indicates that Sony plans to partner with Google to have its Android mobile operating system power those devices.

If real, Sony's PlayStation Phone has one key distinction that would separate it from Apple's iOS devices: physical buttons. While casual games have found great success on Apple's portable devices, many traditional gamers have expressed frustration with the lack of buttons on Apple's device, making it difficult to provide players with tactile feedback via only a touchscreen. And while many other Android-powered devices have buttons in the form of a keyboard, Sony's prototype device has PSP controls specifically meant for gaming.



A recent survey found there are more than 40 million iOS gamers in the U.S., playing titles on devices like the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Apple has also expanded its support for gamers and game developers with the launch of Game Center, its own social networking and connectivity service for iOS titles.
post #2 of 59
God help us.

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Which of us is the fisherman and which the trout?

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post #3 of 59
PSP2 is on the way.
It's not clear where this device fits with that.

C.
post #4 of 59
This device is hideous. Looks like they superglued an android phone with a nintendo controller. I'm hoping if they expect a shot at some decent success, they will certainly polish this up a bit.

Sony (to me) has always been known for making great gadgets but crippled by crappy software and DRM. With them considering Android, at least it takes Sony out of the OS side which is a plus.
post #5 of 59
Guys, it's a prototype.

If the iPhone didn't exist then this would be interesting, but as it does this all seems too little too late. Sony should have had this thing out a year or two ago, if Android was ready. Sony should stick to what they do best, Playstation.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #6 of 59
Phones are for texting your grandma and calling your girl, not for big boy games.
post #7 of 59
Only 17 buttons?!

Sony's learning!
post #8 of 59
Sony + Android = "Prepare for Failure"

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #9 of 59
I especially like how "Emergency Calls Only" and "No SIM Card?" are printed right on top of each other in the first picture.
post #10 of 59
The little kid in me yearns for a phone like this. I don't know how I'd relate to it in practical terms as an adult though. I can see a niche for a phone like this but I can't see mass market appeal. I can't see many adults wanting to carry around a gaming centric device like this.
post #11 of 59
This thing is going nowhere, unless from now on all Android phone comes with all those extra buttons.
post #12 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Guys, it's a prototype.

If the iPhone didn't exist then this would be interesting, but as it does this all seems too little too late. Sony should have had this thing out a year or two ago, if Android was ready. Sony should stick to what they do best, Playstation.

If it can run full PSP games, it is a big deal. Even now, a PSP phone would have instant recognition and be viewed by many as a superior gaming phone.

I'm sure Sony will mess it up though. First of all, when is the PSP2 going to show up? The PSP2 could very well make this seem like a second rate device. One Sony product undermining the other... I can see that happening. Secondly, where are the joysticks? Apparently that center area is a capacitive touch pad. Are the joysticks on there? If they are, isn't that an admission that capacitive joysticks are just fine?

That said, I think Apple should develop a gamepad design for the iPhone and Apple TV (that they could build and/or license to third parties), along with an API giving developers access to the controllers features.
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post #13 of 59
This is the number one thing I think Apple would be interested in Sony for. I've been playing Tony Hawk Pro Skater on the iPhone and the touchscreen button layout is aggravating. It's still fun, but would be way better with buttons.

The iPhone as a concept means there'll probably never be a model with buttons like this, it goes against the whole design idea, but for a lot of people it's awesome and serves as a criticism of iPhone that holds water.

If Apple bought the Playstation division that could have some big upsides for Apple. Give them a gaming platform in a crowded market that won't likely support another console (casual or otherwise), and keep Android from locking in all these gamers. They could do wonders with the PS3's interface as well, and maybe stick AppleTV or iTunes rentals in it through a firmware update. That's all of course IF they could actually buy it from Sony, which I don't know, but the Wii was the hit this cycle and the PSP is only doing so-so.

Say what you will fellow Apple fans, but this PSP phone is a threat to iPhone dominance. Buy whatever game you want on the go, wirelessly, on a whim. That's awesome. I'd hope Steve wouldn't kill it, and I doubt he'd make an iOS PSP phone, regardless of what he'd do, this would be a real good thing to buy from Sony before it becomes a hit for Android. And it will.
post #14 of 59
I love the idea! But as others have pointed out, a bit too late. Sony and Nintendo have already lost marketshare and it is going to be really tough to make it up.

I can see this being marketed as a pay as you go phone...not a contract. This way, parents can purchase the phone/system for their kids but not be tied into monthly contracts.
post #15 of 59
This will appeal to gamers especially PS gamers out there. And that's about it..
post #16 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by elliots11 View Post

Say what you will fellow Apple fans, but this PSP phone is a threat to iPhone dominance.

How many PSP's does Sony sell each year?


Clue : (iPhones + iPod Touch) x 10/100
post #17 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by elliots11 View Post

This is the number one thing I think Apple would be interested in Sony for. I've been playing Tony Hawk Pro Skater on the iPhone and the touchscreen button layout is aggravating. It's still fun, but would be way better with buttons. ...

I don't see how this makes any sense at all. Apple already has a big presence in the gaming community, just not in the part of that community you like. iOS games are huge, and Sony PSP is shrinking in the marketplace last time I checked. The only thing shrinking faster is Nintendo DS.

Overall I don't get this phone/PSP strategy at all. If the PSP games are going to be playable on an Android phone, they will of course simply be ripped off and played on *other* Android phones (even if a bit of hacking is required), so success in this market won't necessarily translate to sales of the PSP phone.

At the end of the day Sony will have released all their key games into the "free" market, but the PSP phone sales won't justify it's existence. Android gets a big boost and Sony shoots itself in the foot.
post #18 of 59
They'll sell a THOUSAND of 'em! WAHOO!!!
post #19 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by ihxo View Post

This thing is going nowhere, unless from now on all Android phone comes with all those extra buttons.

Nowhere except through the roof!

You kidding me, how many KIDS will be asking for this for Xmas More then adults have iPhones. And I'm sure Sony could care less where the money comes from, as long as it's good money.

If this comes out before the holidays, this WILL be a success, sorry Apple fans (of which I'm one).

Skip
post #20 of 59
Set sail for fail.
post #21 of 59
.

My 11-year-old grandson saw the picture and, immediately, knew it was a PSP.

He was interested!

He didn't realize it was a phone, too.

He has a gen 1 iPhone (SIMLess) as a PGP substitute -- we gave him the choice for his last birthday: $150 plus a few $30 games vs $0 plus $100 worth of games (shared among 7 iPhones and 2 iPads)

He has about 6 GB of games on the iPhone.

If the article is correct, and this device is limited to 1 GB storage, then it's a pretty sad attempt -- even if it allows SD cards.

Now, if Sony were to increase the storage, drop the cell radio (and carrier plan) -- then they might have a reasonable iPod Touch competitor.

.
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post #22 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by ncee View Post

Nowhere except through the roof!

You kidding me, how many KIDS will be asking for this for Xmas More then adults have iPhones. And I'm sure Sony could care less where the money comes from, as long as it's good money.

If this comes out before the holidays, this WILL be a success, sorry Apple fans (of which I'm one).

Skip

You think that parents are going to pay for ETFs and data plans to replace a perfectly good phone.

No way!

A PSP is a better deal. An iPod Touch is a better deal!

.
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post #23 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I don't see how this makes any sense at all. Apple already has a big presence in the gaming community, just not in the part of that community you like. iOS games are huge, and Sony PSP is shrinking in the marketplace last time I checked. The only thing shrinking faster is Nintendo DS.

.

I know not everyone is like me or games like me. I get that. I have a number of iPhone games of various types, although only a few I really like. Buttons open up a whole new type of gameplay that only sort of works on a touchscreen. It's not something I'd switch for, but it looks pretty great to have the controls on that prototype. People buy it, start buying games, and pretty soon they're consistent android buyers to keep their collection. Sure some people would steal the games, but if they start bringing over PS1 and maybe PS2 games, plus all the PSP games, that's a great library and not everyones gong to steal.

As for the tons of iOS devices sold vs PSP, yeah, no doubting it. This is something new, and the combination might be just right. For kids especially.
post #24 of 59
.

Here's what I see:

-- a group of kids
-- various PGPs
-- an iPod Touch
-- an iPad

They zero in on the iPad every time!

The iPad is the 2010 XMAS gift of choice!

.
"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
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- Michael Lille -
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post #25 of 59
Sony needs this big time and i for one am happy. MUCH MUCH MORE could be at stake here than we realize.

The PSP is ailing due to its high price and lack of quality software (pspgo...1 good game every 3 months) and fragmentation (some games are disk/download only).

Sure the PSP2 is supposedly around the corner, but Sony can makeup for the money they bled on the initial PSP/UMD venture. How so?

Sony introduces the PSPhone with a special store. Over time this store branches out to other HIGH END devices with similar baseline specs (think Windows Phone 7). Now millions of Android users can be possible PSP gamers...especially with a mere bluetooth controller add on.

For Sony they'll have millions of devices in users hands and that alone would be enough to attract high profile developers.

Then a true battle royale between Apple iOS, Google/Sony PSP, and Windows Phone 7, and Nintendo DS would take place.
post #26 of 59
DOA. I'm starting to feel sorry for Sony.
post #27 of 59
"Please insert a SIM card." Could this be heading towards AT&T and/or T-Mobile?
post #28 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifail View Post

Then a true battle royale between Apple iOS, Google/Sony PSP, and Windows Phone 7, and Nintendo DS would take place.

There is no "battle royale" in mobile gaming... business is much more fluid than that unless a bunch of companies simultaneously jump on new disruptive tech (ie, internet, VOIP, etc).

Nintendo was the undisputed champ for many years, Sony showed up with PSP, and got handed it's ass for years too, but is now holding it's own a bit. Apple showed up and started taking share from everyone with a *phone* and an iPod... and hasn't been stopped yet. Nintendo is going to lose it's dominance, and is already hurting on profits. Google/Android is nowhere to be found as of yet (but will gain ground slowly).
post #29 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

That said, I think Apple should develop a gamepad design for the iPhone and Apple TV (that they could build and/or license to third parties), along with an API giving developers access to the controllers features.

Welcome to the party: http://forums.appleinsider.com/showthread.php?t=113629

Makes sense for Apple TV.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #30 of 59
look at the size of it. could you imagine the battery life while playing games.
post #31 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Welcome to the party: http://forums.appleinsider.com/showthread.php?t=113629

Makes sense for Apple TV.

Lol indeed. It makes incredible sense.
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post #32 of 59
Most of hackers will buy one. They'll root the Android and swap PSP games for free.
post #33 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by ncee View Post

Nowhere except through the roof!

You kidding me, how many KIDS will be asking for this for Xmas More then adults have iPhones. And I'm sure Sony could care less where the money comes from, as long as it's good money.

If this comes out before the holidays, this WILL be a success, sorry Apple fans (of which I'm one).

Skip

post #34 of 59
It's about time. Sony and Nintendo should have made their portable game players into great PMPs years ago, and then migrated models into also having phone capabilities, too.
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post #35 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

.

Here's what I see:

-- a group of kids
-- various PGPs
-- an iPod Touch
-- an iPad

They zero in on the iPad every time!

The iPad is the 2010 XMAS gift of choice!

.

Slightly off topic, but iPad related. I do not know if you saw the news, but a few days ago, RIM showed a working model of the Playbook, and they released the SDK. The reviews were quite positive, and RIM's stock is WAY up. Looks like the Playbook is not a 9-12 months off.
post #36 of 59
A trackpad on a smart phone?

Does it feature rotary dial too?
post #37 of 59
It looks ok, but it's for a niche market.

To make a real impact Sony needed to create a platform that worked across many Android phones and linked in to PSN.

Sony have some of the very best game studios in the world, and if they were tasked with creating Android exclusive games... well, it would be interesting, and Jobs might hand that part of iOS across to someone else that actually likes gaming.
post #38 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

This will appeal to gamers especially PS gamers out there. And that's about it..

Well, that is a decent number. More than 230,000,000 of Playstations sold in the last 10 years (PS2, PS3, PSP).

PSP alone sold more than 60,000,000 units so far; not bat for a "failure".
post #39 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

It looks ok, but it's for a niche market.

niche market? Have you got any idea just how big the handheld gaming market is?

Nintendo has sold over 130 million of the Nintendo DS and Sony has sold over 60 million PSPs. These are real gamers - people willing to buy high priced games unlike a lot of iOS and Android buyers who want free or cheap $1.99 apps. A modern smartphone with proper gaming controls could be massive, easily selling enough that major game developers will create unique titles that use those controls.
post #40 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

niche market? Have you got any idea just how big the handheld gaming market is?

Nintendo has sold over 130 million of the Nintendo DS and Sony has sold over 60 million PSPs. These are real gamers - people willing to buy high priced games unlike a lot of iOS and Android buyers who want free or cheap $1.99 apps. A modern smartphone with proper gaming controls could be massive, easily selling enough that major game developers will create unique titles that use those controls.

you're talking about 10 years of cumulative sales. but that was then and this is now. gaming paradigms shift every decade to a new generation of both hardware and game concepts. it's over for the DSI and PSP. their sales are dropping like a rock. the next era of much lower priced touchscreen and "social" games is taking over rapidly. kids nowadays are growing up on these, not buttons/toggles.

sure, there will always be some hard core addicted "gamers" that have to play with their control thingees. but otherwise ....

dude (and Sony), it's over.
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