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post #41 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

In other words, for them to capture the market again they will have to do something different. Hence, too late.

The question then is what market is the PSPhone in? Is it a smartphone that can play advanced games? Or is it a portable gaming device that has the features of a smartphone?

Depending on which category the PSPhone belongs to, it changes whether it's catching the iPhone/iPod or if the iPhone/iPod is catching it.
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post #42 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by AsianBob View Post

The question then is what market is the PSPhone in? Is it a smartphone that can play advanced games? Or is it a portable gaming device that has the features of a smartphone?

Depending on which category the PSPhone belongs to, it changes whether it's catching the iPhone/iPod or if the iPhone/iPod is catching it.

Which only matters if it belongs to a category anyone wants. Garmin made a GPS phone and we could debate whither or not it was a phone with advanced GPS functionality or an advanced GPS device with phone features, and wonder if the iPhone could "catch it." But of course it didn't matter at all, because any kind of "specialized" smartphone wasn't very appealing to consumers.

The whole point of the iPhone revolution is that the phone is virtually a blank slate, and simply becomes whatever application is foremost. It's not clear to me that people really want to go back to devices that in anyway compromise this transformational capability by tethering themselves to any application specific hardware. You get better performance at one thing and lose out on everything else. And it's also not clear that people want special purpose devices with phone functionality tacked on.

So either way-- game machine that makes phone calls, phone with extra game cruft-- it may be of limited appeal.
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post #43 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

It's obvious from those videos that when it comes to Sony, Apple has absolutely nothing to worry about.

Given that mobile gaming is one of Apple's marketing points, I'd say anything that comes along to take a direct shot at that is something for them to be worrying about.
post #44 of 67
iOS hater says, "You can't play games with a touchscreen, you need controls to play".

Handheld hater says, "You can't play games with a handheld, you need the power and screen size of a console to play".

Console hater says, "You can't play games with a console you need a mouse and keyboard for proper control and upgradeable hardware that only a PC can bring, to play".

I wish people would quit with the elitist nonsense the above comments didn't even scratch the surface, you can break things down further with type A console, handheld, graphics card, processor etc vs type B console, handheld, graphics card, processor etc ad infinitum.

A hell of a lot of people are having fun with iOS games and that's all that matters, one man's meat is another man's poison.

I think I'll go and play a couple more missions in Driver on my iPhone.
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post #45 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Which only matters if it belongs to a category anyone wants. Garmin made a GPS phone and we could debate whither or not it was a phone with advanced GPS functionality or an advanced GPS device with phone features, and wonder if the iPhone could "catch it." But of course it didn't matter at all, because any kind of "specialized" smartphone wasn't very appealing to consumers.

The whole point of the iPhone revolution is that the phone is virtually a blank slate, and simply becomes whatever application is foremost. It's not clear to me that people really want to go back to devices that in anyway compromise this transformational capability by tethering themselves to any application specific hardware. You get better performance at one thing and lose out on everything else. And it's also not clear that people want special purpose devices with phone functionality tacked on.

So either way-- game machine that makes phone calls, phone with extra game cruft-- it may be of limited appeal.

I agree with much of what you said. However, you have to remember that we have been tied to application specific hardware for decades now. Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo consoles and handhelds all embody this. And we keep dishing out money at the latest hardware just so we can keep compatible with the latest games.

This may go the way of the NGage, but it at least potentially has the power of the PSP and Android behind it. Scoff at either side all you want, but this combination gives the PSPhone a 100 times better shot than any combo device before it. I'm extremely curious to see how this one plays out for Sony.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

iOS hater says, "You can't play games with a touchscreen, you need controls to play".

Not iOS haters as much as hardcore gamers say that. There are many slate-type Android phones that have the same thing said about them, so it's not iOS specific. Sometimes having hard controls just makes things easier to control.
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post #46 of 67
the problem with much of this discussion is the great differences among gaming market segments are not being taken into account.

as now, "hard core" gamers will keep using consoles and PC's. they need physical controls. they are mainly teens and young adults, and mostly male. and they pay high prices for those very expensive to develop games. so dollar-wise they are the biggest, most important share of the game market.

thus a PGP that extends those hard core games to a handheld one way or another has real market potential for success. technology now makes that possible (it was not for the PSP 2). Sony could do this and fully integrate the PSP with its Play Station. adding integrated media features to it would be logical, but that would not be why gamers buy it. adding a phone to it is pretty much irrelevant - actually a drawback, because it brings with it the dreaded expensive two-year telco contract.

it is so typical of Sony to try to jam everything the engineers can think of into one device. but in this case it is dumb business-wise.

(as an aside, both Sony and MS are now updating their consoles with Move and Kinect to finally challenge Nintendo's Wii in the "family" game segment, the second biggest dollar share of the game market. and since the Wii badly needs an HD update, they will quickly push it to third place. those games are still high priced too.)

what iOS has done is totally invigorate and rapidly expand the previously moribund "casual" portable game market, and dramatically brought down the game prices for it. previously that was either for kids, like Gameboy, or crude cell phone games. now it is for all ages, from kids to seniors, and both genders. this has been followed recently by a new generation of "cloud" based casual games hooked into the new social nets, like Farmville. none of these games need physical controls. all work with touch UI's. they are far less expensive to design. the successful games are all being ported to Android too, also with low prices.

so with the Android PSP Phone, Sony is hoping to add this new casual game market to a portable hard core game player, per above. Sony already has the Play Station Store that could sell the Android games and take a 30% cut. this makes sense, to the extent it will generate some more hardware sales to hard core gamers, who will also continue to pay high prices for the portable versions of console games.

but ... just like with jamming a phone into the product, physical game controls are a turn-off to the much larger number of buyers of all ages who just want to play inexpensive casual games and watch media of all kinds. that is the market the iPod touch in particular is taking over now, killing the PSP2 (and DOA PSP Go, which tried blindly to extend the stand-alone high priced PSP game business model to a next generation) in the process.

bottom line: Sony needs to focus on a portable extension of its PlayStation ecosystem, and its game console/media capabilities. Android is a good OS choice in order to incorporate casual gaming in that ecosystem as well. this would compete only to a limited extent with the iPod touch (tho it would be hyped in the press as a death match). but adding a phone ... that would be a financial poison pill to its target market.

trying to be all things to all people often winds up being nothin' to nobody.
post #47 of 67
"Hard core gamers" use custom built PC's, with SLI or crossfire graphics cards, overclocked processors, keyboards with custom mapping and a high precision mouse.

"Hard core gamers" wouldn't be caught dead using children's handheld toys.

The above is called elitism, a trait you are exhibiting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AsianBob View Post

Not iOS haters as much as hardcore gamers say that. There are many slate-type Android phones that have the same thing said about them, so it's not iOS specific. Sometimes having hard controls just makes things easier to control.
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post #48 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

"Hard core gamers" use custom built PC's, with SLI or crossfire graphics cards, overclocked processors, keyboards with custom mapping and a high precision mouse.

"Hard core gamers" wouldn't be caught dead using children's handheld toys.

The above is called elitism, a trait you are exhibiting.

This isn't about whether one input method is greater than another. This is about good game design and a thriving library of titles.

iPhone/iPad games that try to replicate a 30 year old concept by simply making touch-buttons will likely feel sluggish to traditional gamers. However, a game that truly capitalizes on the strengths of the platform can be just as "hardcore" or "precise" as a traditional gaming console. Right now we are in a transition from old-school to new-school, where the new-school is largely experimental and undefined as of now.

As an aside, with some practice, your fingers can be trained to interact with a touch screen without buttons just as effectively.
post #49 of 67
It's for kids.
post #50 of 67
Of course which has been my whole point all along, if you go back through my posts in this thread you will see that I am showing examples of elitism as shown by "hard core" gamers, which always crops up in these threads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slang4Art View Post

This isn't about whether one input method is greater than another. This is about good game design and a thriving library of titles.

iPhone/iPad games that try to replicate a 30 year old concept by simply making touch-buttons will likely feel sluggish to traditional gamers. However, a game that truly capitalizes on the strengths of the platform can be just as "hardcore" or "precise" as a traditional gaming console. Right now we are in a transition from old-school to new-school, where the new-school is largely experimental and undefined as of now.

As an aside, with some practice, your fingers can be trained to interact with a touch screen without buttons just as effectively.
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post #51 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by AsianBob View Post

I agree with much of what you said. However, you have to remember that we have been tied to application specific hardware for decades now. Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo consoles and handhelds all embody this. And we keep dishing out money at the latest hardware just so we can keep compatible with the latest games.

This may go the way of the NGage, but it at least potentially has the power of the PSP and Android behind it. Scoff at either side all you want, but this combination gives the PSPhone a 100 times better shot than any combo device before it. I'm extremely curious to see how this one plays out for Sony.

Right, time will tell, but my suspicion is that people are OK with getting application specific hardware for a specific application, as long as it really does that one thing a lot better than general purpose hardware, and/or is a lot cheaper.

So the Kindle is doing fine, because it's cheaper, lighter and (for some people) easier on the eyes than a color LCD tablet. Handheld gaming devices have game specific controls that make them desirable over touch screen only, for certain gamers.

However, trying to wed that functionality to a general purpose device while retaining the application specific hardware stuff may be a problem. It's especially a problem when the application specific hardware in question is derived from the PSP Go, a poorly selling device in the first place.

I'm not quite seeing how selling a PSP Go with a cell contract is going to be a big win for Sony, but who knows.
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post #52 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfiejr View Post

bottom line: Sony needs to focus on a portable extension of its PlayStation ecosystem, and its game console/media capabilities. Android is a good OS choice in order to incorporate casual gaming in that ecosystem as well. this would compete only to a limited extent with the iPod touch (tho it would be hyped in the press as a death match). but adding a phone ... that would be a financial poison pill to its target market.

I think you are right but missing the bigger picture from Sony's perspective. Let's say this device launches does indeed take off for Sony Ericsson and they manage to sell at 2+ million a quarter, shouldn't be too hard considering it has great specs, Android Gingerbread, and Playstation all wrapped together. They'd have added 8 million new PSP gamers, not including whatever sales from the PSP-3000 and dismal PSP-Go. Thats with fairly modest sales. If Sony Ericsson goes all out, on every major carrier world-wide like Samsung did with the Galaxy S, they could be moving maybe double that number a year. For Sony, it means more sales, and more royalties from game developers on titles they develop.

If Sony Ericsson adopts the same model Apple has with iOS iPhone/iPod Touch, which is ONLY DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION AND HARDWARE it could be a smash hit. Imagine the implications for the PSP2? A 299 top tier gaming platform running Android underneath possibly (rumor and pictures has it that its going to have a touch screen and slider form) and a 199 on contract device that runs the same exact games and have near identical hardware.

That is assuming, the thing even sells at all.
post #53 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by signal View Post

Right, time will tell, but my suspicion is that people are OK with getting application specific hardware for a specific application, as long as it really does that one thing a lot better than general purpose hardware, and/or is a lot cheaper.

So the Kindle is doing fine, because it's cheaper, lighter and (for some people) easier on the eyes than a color LCD tablet. Handheld gaming devices have game specific controls that make them desirable over touch screen only, for certain gamers.

However, trying to wed that functionality to a general purpose device while retaining the application specific hardware stuff may be a problem. It's especially a problem when the application specific hardware in question is derived from the PSP Go, a poorly selling device in the first place.

I'm not quite seeing how selling a PSP Go with a cell contract is going to be a big win for Sony, but who knows.

Agreed.
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post #54 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolbolas View Post

This is not a bad time.... the controls do allow for more advanced gameplay (in general!) than just a touch screen alone.

i do agree it could have come sooner, and probably should have, but its a fine device )from what i saw)

If it plays current PSP games then I suspect there will be a market for this. I don't think it will be a "serious contender" with the iPhone though, the extra bulk for a slide out wasted on a controller is a serious misunderstanding about gaming on phones. I suspect most people will look at it & wish it was a keyboard instead of a controller.
post #55 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by signal View Post

Right, time will tell, but my suspicion is that people are OK with getting application specific hardware for a specific application, as long as it really does that one thing a lot better than general purpose hardware, and/or is a lot cheaper.

Except that the iphone and ipod touch has taken a big chunk out of the PSP and DS markets. I think that Sony would rather cannibalize PSP sales than let Apple continue to do so.

Quote:
However, trying to wed that functionality to a general purpose device while retaining the application specific hardware stuff may be a problem. It's especially a problem when the application specific hardware in question is derived from the PSP Go, a poorly selling device in the first place.

It's poorly selling because there is no compelling reason to replace an existing PSP that could do UMD or has any real compelling features over the 3000 (with UMD drive). A PSP Go that's also an android phone does have compelling advantages over a PSP 3000.

Quote:
I'm not quite seeing how selling a PSP Go with a cell contract is going to be a big win for Sony, but who knows.

It's a PSP Go with the Android market, 3G data connectivity and cell contract. Sony has MMO properties via Sony Online Entertainment. A couple of which are already on the PSP....Smedley must be drooling. It won't be WoW but Everquest was once known as Evercrack. I'm sure SoE would like a chance of being top dog again before Blizzard pounds them into the dust in mobile MMOs.

Eh, not saying it's gonna happen but having more or less 24/7 data connectivity everywhere is something that PSP devs can certainly leverage.
post #56 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

Except that the iphone and ipod touch has taken a big chunk out of the PSP and DS markets. I think that Sony would rather cannibalize PSP sales than let Apple continue to do so.

But I would argue the reason the iPhone has been taking that chunk is that it's general purpose, morph from thing to thing without app specific hardware (remember, Jobs introduced the iPhone by mocking all those buttons) is a winner with consumers. Or, I should say, the broadest possible range of consumers.

Quote:
It's poorly selling because there is no compelling reason to replace an existing PSP that could do UMD or has any real compelling features over the 3000 (with UMD drive). A PSP Go that's also an android phone does have compelling advantages over a PSP 3000.

I think that remains to be seen.

Quote:
It's a PSP Go with the Android market, 3G data connectivity and cell contract. Sony has MMO properties via Sony Online Entertainment. A couple of which are already on the PSP....Smedley must be drooling. It won't be WoW but Everquest was once known as Evercrack. I'm sure SoE would like a chance of being top dog again before Blizzard pounds them into the dust in mobile MMOs.

Eh, not saying it's gonna happen but having more or less 24/7 data connectivity everywhere is something that PSP devs can certainly leverage.

Well, that kind of gets us back to the chicken and egg thing-- is it a PSP Go with an Android phone baked in or an Android phone with a PSP Go app and PSP Go specific hardware?

Yes, ubiquitous connectivity is something a gaming device can use, but no more so than any existing smartphone with decent gaming capability, or the iPhone in particular.

But my theory is that, no matter how you slice it, you're not getting phone/handheld gaming device synergy so much as sort of watering down both. You get a phone that's thicker and heavier with an entire failure prone mechanical mechanism that can only be used for games, and a gaming device with a much higher TCO. I just think we can't underestimate the way people are being trained to appreciate and want the magic blank slate model of device.

It's not that this phone won't be popular with a certain class of buyers, it's that the very thing that makes is desirable for those people makes it a complete non-starter for everyone else. So it's only hope of real success is if everyone was holding off buying a PSP Go because it didn't have phone functionality, which seems pretty unlikely.
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post #57 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by See Flat View Post

It's for kids.

It'll also be DOA.

Hardly worth discussing.

You've already got games on the Android and Apple App Stores. What's the point of a dead handheld gaming platform (PSP) tied to a phone?

it's an answer to a question no one asked.
post #58 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

It's not that this phone won't be popular with a certain class of buyers, it's that the very thing that makes is desirable for those people makes it a complete non-starter for everyone else. So it's only hope of real success is if everyone was holding off buying a PSP Go because it didn't have phone functionality, which seems pretty unlikely.

I agree it is a device for a specific type of customer and outside that group it has no appeal. However, that group - gamers - is highly desirable. There are a lot of them and they are willing to spend $$$ on their hobby. If a gamer was going to buy a smartphone and a PSP anyway then a combined device makes a lot of sense. Why carry two devices when one does the exact same job?

There are rumors of a PSP2 that is separate from the Playstation Phone. This wil be a major factor. If the two devices are compatible them Sony could have a huge success on their hands (just like the iPhone and iPod touch combine to reate a huge market for developers). If they are incompatible then Sony could split its market and damage both products chance of success.
post #59 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

it's an answer to a question no one asked.

So were the iPhone and the iPad. The best products are ones that people didn't know they wanted one until someone with the imagination to build it comes along; after which people cannot understand how they managed before.
post #60 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

I agree it is a device for a specific type of customer and outside that group it has no appeal. However, that group - gamers - is highly desirable. There are a lot of them and they are willing to spend $$$ on their hobby. If a gamer was going to buy a smartphone and a PSP anyway then a combined device makes a lot of sense. Why carry two devices when one does the exact same job?

There are rumors of a PSP2 that is separate from the Playstation Phone. This wil be a major factor. If the two devices are compatible them Sony could have a huge success on their hands (just like the iPhone and iPod touch combine to reate a huge market for developers). If they are incompatible then Sony could split its market and damage both products chance of success.

Maybe, except this isn't really a PSP phone, it's a PSP Go phone, right? And the PSP Go has fallen flat with consumers, my understanding being because of price and Sony's instance on maintaining price parity for digital downloads and optical media, which parity is itself much higher on average than the iPhone game price structure.

So does a PSP Go phone fix either of those shortcomings, or just add a phone into the mix? If it's $200 with subsidy and contract, that's actually quite a bit more expensive than the current, generally considered overpriced PSP Go (although yes, I understand that it now includes a phone). Then, the addressable market for one of these is likely coming from installed user base that prizes resellable optical media to offset the high initial cost of games. I can't see how including a phone does anything to counteract the same resistance to digital download only games that Sony's customers showed to the PSP Go, can you?
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post #61 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Maybe, except this isn't really a PSP phone, it's a PSP Go phone, right?

A PSP Go was a regular PSP minus the optical drive: same generation of hardware running the same games only you had to re-buy all your existing games. Also Sony has the PSP 3000 that cost the same and accesses the same online store as the Go - Why buy a Go when the regular PSP does the exat same stuff. This is something new and something different. I'd be very surprised if existing PSP games worked on it. It is basically a new generation of Playstation hardware.
post #62 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

A PSP Go was a regular PSP minus the optical drive: same generation of hardware running the same games only you had to re-buy all your existing games. Also Sony has the PSP 3000 that cost the same and accesses the same online store as the Go - Why buy a Go when the regular PSP does the exat same stuff. This is something new and something different. I'd be very surprised if existing PSP games worked on it. It is basically a new generation of Playstation hardware.

But if the drawback of the Go was that you had to rebuy all your existing games, and the new phone has no backward compatibility at all, doesn't that add the whole chicken egg of game development vs. installed user base? I can't see wanting a phone encumbered with game hardware for a platform that may or may not have much available for it.

And I can't see a lot of Android developers going out of their way to make "Android Station" games for a single phone, so I'm not sure what Sony intends. Maybe a new class of game that's more in line with the iPhone price structure? But that's a turnoff for "real gamers", right, the sort of people that don't have much use for "casual gaming" and all?

So I get the newest PSP which is also a phone but none of my existing games or accessories work, and the game catalog is thin, and maybe Android games work but not very well with the included game control hardware. And maybe games cost quite a bit, maybe not.

It seems like a kind of huge hassle just to get that control surface.
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post #63 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

It'll also be DOA.

Hardly worth discussing.

You've already got games on the Android and Apple App Stores. What's the point of a dead handheld gaming platform (PSP) tied to a phone?

it's an answer to a question no one asked.

There are 62 million PSPs sold as of this year worldwide. I would hardly call that a "dead" platform. Dying and being replaced as our Android and iOS devices get more and more capable I would buy.

Personally, I would consider a platform dead only if the developers stop supporting it. This doesn't seem to be the case for the PSP for the time being.
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post #64 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

But if the drawback of the Go was that you had to rebuy all your existing games, and the new phone has no backward compatibility at all, doesn't that add the whole chicken egg of game development vs. installed user base? I can't see wanting a phone encumbered with game hardware for a platform that may or may not have much available for it.

But that happens with every new generation of gaming hardware. The install base always goes back to zero.

Quote:
And I can't see a lot of Android developers going out of their way to make "Android Station" games for a single phone, so I'm not sure what Sony intends.

Sony are probably going after EA, Activision, etc for content.
post #65 of 67
My dad had a new PSP-Go for 2 months, then sold it after seeing it's graphical difference with games compared to my iPhone.
I really expected something better with the PSP, but the display and graphics really looked bad compared to the display and graphics of my iPhone...and I've got an "old" 3G...
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post #66 of 67
The problem with the PSP is that it's a little big. Still pocketable in a jacket but meh. The PSP Go is smaller but hey you still gotta have a phone and now you have all these useless UMD games you gotta rebuy...non-starter. Better off buying an iPod touch to replace your old iPod and get access to another set of games.

A PSP android phone on the other hand is one less device to haul around if you happen to like the kind of games that appeared on a PSP and not on the DS or Touch and you need a phone.

Call it elitist but having physical controls is an advantage for some games. The tactile feedback is useful.

The catch is most of the kids in our family still don't have a data plan. That's another $25 or whatever per kid/month. In our immediate extended gaggle that's 14 kids of which 10 have PSPs, DS, and touches.

So probably the other thing the PSP Phone needs is a family/kid friendly data plan or the option to go wifi only with just voice and text service.
post #67 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifail View Post

I think you are right but missing the bigger picture from Sony's perspective. Let's say this device launches does indeed take off for Sony Ericsson and they manage to sell at 2+ million a quarter, shouldn't be too hard considering it has great specs, Android Gingerbread, and Playstation all wrapped together. They'd have added 8 million new PSP gamers, not including whatever sales from the PSP-3000 and dismal PSP-Go. Thats with fairly modest sales. If Sony Ericsson goes all out, on every major carrier world-wide like Samsung did with the Galaxy S, they could be moving maybe double that number a year. For Sony, it means more sales, and more royalties from game developers on titles they develop.

If Sony Ericsson adopts the same model Apple has with iOS iPhone/iPod Touch, which is ONLY DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION AND HARDWARE it could be a smash hit. Imagine the implications for the PSP2? A 299 top tier gaming platform running Android underneath possibly (rumor and pictures has it that its going to have a touch screen and slider form) and a 199 on contract device that runs the same exact games and have near identical hardware.

That is assuming, the thing even sells at all.

but ... serious gamers don't want another expensive two year contract for anything. many already pay for XBox Live. their games cost a lot. and they all already have some other smartphone on contract. there is just no room in that market for a phone device (except no-contract products with VOIP).

and Sony Ericsson is not a game company. it is looking for something to save its smartphone business. it's getting killed in the commodity smartphone market by everyone else, while switching from the doomed Symbian to Android. a game phone of any kind for such a slow-building niche market is not going to save it. nothing may save it, and a breakup is likely coming fast.
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