Smartphones are everywhere.  I think we are now long past the time when anyone can claim that there isn’t a future in a pocket pc.  Looking back to 2008, I remember saying that I just could not get along with virtual keyboards and that for me was the reason why surfing on the go would never be an option.  Its 2011 and whilst I still maintain my dislike for touch keyboards, I find myself being the very happy owner of an HTC Desire running Android (even if Steve Ballmer manages to cream a little off the top from my purchase)

Sony presumably has hopes that its Playstation phones will meet with the same success as HTC.  Its a phone that has been rumoured (and still is) for quite a while now.

What we (think) we know

Its called Xperia Play

Running off a SnapDragon 1ghz processor and Android.

The Playstation phone is apparently Android 2.3

A pull-out keypad for your gaming needs.

What we don’t know

If it will play PSP titles (or indeed even have a UMD drive), if it will play PSX titles or indeed something else all together.

Will its catalogue be available via a marketplace type medium?

What titles will the phone release with? and how much?

So will it be a success?

Sony are being very bold.  The phone marketplace is a competitive and fickle one.  I think had the choice been to base the phone off their own OS and effectively start from scratch (with their own app store et al), then in the face of Android and Apple they would have been doomed from the start.  The combination of the Android platform and the gaming catalogue of Sony seems like a good idea, but then consider the titles already available on Android and ask, is the average Android Smartphone user wanting a pull out keypad?

For me, a pull-out Keyboard would be far more favorable, I’m quite happy with the gaming titles already available in the Android marketplace that take advantage of the touch screen interface to play them.

You also have to consider Nintendo.  I think its fair to say that the DS managed to dominate the PSP in terms of market interest, but now I think that Nintendo sees its market ebbing away with Smartphone users who only want one device in their pocket and are quite happy with the entertainment solutions the Android marketplace can provide.  One could say that the impending 3DS will rescue that and I’m sure if the experience is as unique as we are led to believe then some will have two devices in their pocket once again or until the next generation of smartphones offers something similar or better.

I think like Nintendo though, Sony certainly has a console base of loyal happy users.  The thought of a Sony Console and phone would be, in my view a big draw to them.  Since I think it’s a given that the PSP is not going to get some sort of revival in acceptance from the majority of users who prefer DS, it’s certainly a good use of Sony tech to put their established brand alongside the established Android and offer “the best of both worlds”

Of course it’s still merely rumour as to what is going to happen the Sony Playstation phone.

If you were to pin me down for a prediction.  I’d say that the PSphone will be a reasonably healthy seller.  It wont be a complete disaster and I’m sure will be well received by the people who buy it.  I can’t though seeing this achieving the status of say the HTC in respect of “sell-out” must have and whilst I am very happy with every Sony product I have ever purchased, I just can’t see a mass demand for a gaming phone like this when you already have Android and Apple phones doing a damn good job already providing such entertainment.

Time will tell, I just wish Sony would have the same view of Linux on the PS3 as it does for its Android phone.

Goblin – bytes4free@googlemail.com / TwitterIdenti.ca

You can also contact me on Skype: tim.openbytes

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