Last night Engadget posted what it claims is a leaked photo of an upcoming Playstation Phone. The image is of a prototype from Sony Ericsson and features a slider design, but rather than revealing a keyboard, the slider reveals typical Playstation gaming controls on either side, shoulder buttons and a multi-touch trackpad in the center.
Engadget says the phone has 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8655 chip, 512 MBs of RAM & 1 GB of ROM with a microSD card slot for additional storage. The OS is said to be Android's upcoming Gingerbread release (which is Android 3.0 or 2.3, depending on who you ask) and there will be a "Sony Market" for downloading apps. A 2011 release is expected. So that's what we know and Engadget is, as far as I know, the only source for this rumor. For the sake of argument let's assume this is a real product. The more interesting question is whether or not a Playstation Phone has a chance of succeeding. As a phone we're not seeing anything special, really, so what would make it stand out would be the gaming capabilities. In my experience people who like games are already playing games on their phones via touch screen. While some Android games support a keyboard and can be controlled via keys (and you could presumably map keys to the buttons on the Sony phone) to really take advantage of these controls a game would have to be written specifically for this phone. The chance of it catching on enough to entice Android game developers to ignore the rest of the platform in order to take advantage of the Playstation Phone seems slim. I'm struggling to imagine a scenario in which a Playstation Phone succeeds. What about you? What would entice you to buy? Would Playstation Portable emulation do it?