Gaming on Android just got a lot more serious. Engadget is reporting that Sony Ericsson is hard at work on the oft-rumored PSP phone, only it will come with Android 3.0 ("Gingerbread") and is described by those in the know as "a cross between the Samsung Captivate and the PSP Go" (you can see their mockup above). This is quite surprising as they haven't even been able to launch a phone running 2.1 yet.

Sony is aiming for graphics power in the realm of the PSX or PSP. Considering we already have PS1 emulators running on Android, this is perfectly reasonable. To help out with the demands of mobile gaming, the gaming-specific controls would slide out like we are used to in landscape slider phones along with a "long touch pad" rather than the joystick nub that PSP owners would be familiar with.

Other specs for the phone are what you would expect from a high-end device: 3.7- or 4.1-inch screen, at least WVGA resolution (800x480), a non-final 5MP camera, and a 1 GHz Snapdragon CPU. It seems like Sony Ericsson will be putting a custom skin on the device, which we (sadly) have come to expect as of late. It also seems like Google is deeply involved with the device, and a special section of the Android Market will be created for titles that would require the added power and physical buttons on the phone. Other phones and devices might be able to see the games at some point "if their specs and button layouts meet requirements." Rumored games include members of the Modern Warfare (aka Call of Duty) and God of War franchises. 

Price and launch date are vague at best, with October being listed as the earliest possible. In addition, no mention was made of what carrier(s) the phone would arrive on or in what countries, so it is wide open at the moment. Still, this looks to be where Sony is aiming for their future mobile gaming efforts. As such, it should have a great backing from the gaming industry. So, who wants one? [Engadet]

 
There are 29 comments

Common AC... You guys could have done a mockup just for US!... As far as the phone goes.... would love to see what out looks like especially with GINGERBREAD on it.

steliosco says:

win-win situation...
but needs to be done right.

cr3amy says:

Gon' be siiiiick

aaronbwells says:

Oh word? October at the earliest? Maybe I can pick that up along with my Droid Incredible for my birthday.

SharonW says:

Don't count on October. Sony has a notorious record of late launches. To wit, the X10 with OS 1.6.

More likely it will launch in 2012 with Eclair and all other Androids will be on Ice Cream. :D

mgiusto says:

This could be the beginning of the end for Apple and the iPhone. Cue Kevin Butler - V.P. of Android - It Only Does Everything.

MowDownJoe says:

Yeah... Kevin Butler alone would bring the end of the iPhone. I will never own a PS3 and I still love those Kevin Butler ads.

That said... Snapdragon? Umm... they have seen the N1 try to run games, right?

Also, a PSP Phone would be the only time I'd be okay with a custom skin on Android. Because I doubt Stock Android would work well with a d-pad and anything less than a keyboard, if it had any physical buttons.

Spartan616 says:

Well the PSP Go runs on a MIPS 333 MHz processor, I can only imagine what a psp-like skin or other structure can do with just 1 GHz. Besides, if Sony says they want it out by October, it'll probably come out in Q2 2011 at the earliest, probably. I just seriously hope that they go to Verizon as a CDMA/GSM World Phone.

wg#AC says:

I have wanted one very since my psp got stolen and I have not been able to replace it. I heard rumors that hand held gaming was going this direction but this is the first one I have seen that could be it. If it looks good and they do it right I will be getting one.

So that is what a storm 2 a psp pad and the n1 display look like!!!

STEINBERG5 says:

Thats a great photoshop job. Storm 2 with PSP button layout.

Go Android! says:

Actually it looks like the Captivate.

sydeshow says:

it is in fact a Captivate. further proven by the quote in the article's 2nd sentence: "a cross between the Samsung Captivate and the PSP Go".

wg#AC says:

Opps I see that. my bad. I did not realize the captivate looks that much like the storm 2

mortzz says:

Intensive 3D gaming with a Snapdragon? Anybody else see the problem with this? Hopefully it's using a newer model than the ancient AMD Z340. That GPU is terrible.

This is coming from a Nexus One owner too.

PGiovanni says:

I have absolutely no problems running psx4droid runs smooth as glass. On my EVO.

PSP CPU (System clock frequency 1~333MHz)

Blueriver says:

Why do I feel like seeing PSPhone news have been years by now?

I am pretty sure we won't be seeing anything until 2012.

Rudementry says:

Engadget must be wrong, because there is no way we're going to be seeing PSP games with a Snapdragon Processor.

mortzz says:

Well, they're probably going off SE's previous (exclusive?) use of Qualcomm processors.

The pace of android development is amazing. Very soon, most people will switch back to one year contracts with their wireless carriers so that they can upgrade with the one year cycle. these two year contracts are stifling early adopters.

http://weboven.blogspot.com

whippingboy says:

I've been saying this for years- put gaming controls on a phone if you want people to game. (Sidekick had it in the right direction with the dpad shoulder buttons trackball and WIDESCREEN). iphone for gaming is a joke.

This is also the ONLY way Sony can sell a handheld- Nintendo will forever dominate them in the handheld market- but if they partner with Android- and are able to release this as a PHONE on contract competitive with other smartphones... just hope they bring this idea to all carriers. Shame it'll only be on sony phones...never seen one I liked.

Clavis#AC says:

I can't wait to be able to jack cars and murder hookers on the go!

Spartan616 says:

You don't do that already? I can do those things without a device... at the same time!

milesmcever says:

The first thing to remember when building this don't be stupid like nokia and put the game slot under the battery, back years ago when they tried to tie hand held console and cell phone together.

GZ20TT says:

So,
This new phone might just match my Droid/Milestone with a Gamegripper, except I'll still have a hardware keyboard to do non-gaming things with :)

Still - if the end hardware ends up being cutting edge - dual core snapdragon and better GPU, 4" screen - and has both a decent catalogue of games along with good method of buying said games - then I'd get one.

msgnyc says:

I'm sold as long as it allows me to connect to my PSN Account and msg/manage my friends list and my account in general.
I really wish Sony released the APIs so that an app could be made that actually allows you to msg the people on your friends list. Currently all you can do is see who is online from your list and check their trophies. There is an app for Live already that allows you to msg your friends and I want it for the PSN.
It should also allow me to browse the PSN Store and make purchases and make minis compatible with it. THAT I would LOVE.

aleksboch says:

What's the name of the weather and clock widgets in the photo?

davidnc says:

I am "phoned out" lol Can't and Won't try to upgrade before 2012 even tho my account says I can in Feb. of 2011 .Vzw forgot that I just upgraded that line lol . I think Sony needs to test this device if they havent even got one to function on 2.1 OS pfft I dont know if they can on gingerbread .

aleksboch says:

Samsung galaxy S does not have the 'stock' android widgets. And they're not available in the market place.

Wesley1 says:

Being from Sony Ericsson, this will more likely be out in Q3 2012;(