Playstation Phone gets a new rumored name, new rumored launch date

We've gone more than two weeks without a Playstation Phone rumor! Let's fix that right now. It looks like that December 9th announcement that was mentioned was someone's pipe dream, but CES is just around the corner. The ideal time to announce the phone? Nope. At least, not according to Pocket-Lint.com, who yesterday ran an exclusive post based on the always reliable (that's sarcasm, by the way) "sources close to the matter." Pocket-Lint says the device will be introduced at the Mobile World Congress, which is what was implied back in November when Sony Ericsson chief executive Bert Nordberg, speaking to the Wall Street Journal, said they want to make "a lot of noise" around a new product at the February event. Of course, Pocket-Lint's sources probably read the same interview we did.

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Assuming this is all legit, the phones are expect to become available in the UK (the only region for which a date was given) in April. The rumored specs are a 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8655, 512MB of RAM, and 1GB of ROM (according to Pocket-Lint) and earlier rumors mentioned an 8 megapixel camera, a 4" screen and Android 2.3. Now for the name of the thing. I guess Playstation Phone is too obvious, right? AndroidCentral.com shares the news that Sony Ericsson was granted a European trademark on the phrase "Xperia Play" on December 1st, and that Swedish PR firm Jung Relations (Sony Ericsson is one of their clients) registered the domains XperiaPlay.com, XperiaPlay.net and XperiaPlay.org. So maybe it'll be called the Xperia Play or maybe that's just the name of some service available on the phone. It seems like an odd choice, totally ditching the 'Playstation' moniker yet keeping the look and feel of Playstation gaming controls (specifically the Circle/Triangle/X/Square buttons). You'd think they'd want to capitalize on the Playstation brand, wouldn't you? Maybe since Sony is working on a (strongly rumored) Playstation Portable 2 there were fears that having two mobile gaming devices with the Playstation name could lead to consumer confusion? Which appeals to you more: the Playstation Phone or the Xperia Play? Please leave a comment!

Peter Smith writes about personal technology for ITworld. Follow him on Twitter @pasmith.

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