Sony Ericsson prepping Android 3.0 PlayStation Phone to take on iOS gaming?

Engadget has it from a reliable source that there's a device being prepared by Sony Ericsson that will look like a cross between a Samsung Captivate and PSP Go, run Android 3.0 "Gingerbread" and, enjoy PS titles like God of War.

If it pans out, if they nail the hardware and software, it will be a serious competitor to iPhone and iOS in the mobile gaming space. If Sony can work a little Apple-style magic and get it integrated with the PS3, it could be flat out awesome.

So what do you think, combine this with Windows Phone 7 getting Xbox live features, will Apple, the App Store, and their upcoming Game Center be enough to hold on to the mobile gaming market?

[Engadget via Android Central]

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 24 comments. Add yours.

Tweger01 says:

This would be sick. Granted, I have a PSP and never play it, it would be nice to have a phone with a controller.

John "Cas" Elm says:

Yea that would seriously impact the ios gaming market... For me (and most users) lack of hardware buttons is a big deal when it comes to gaming. The iPhone has the "sweetest" gaming of any phone I've seen to date, but perhaps this could change that...

Robbie Alexander says:

Are they allowed to put games on Android without them being available to every Android device?

ManuelVitela says:

@Robbie Alexander Probably not though Sony would be able to incorporate their own store alongside the App Market.

(Copy of) Dev says:

"to hold on to the mobile gaming market"
Nintendo might like a word with you, as DS/GBA sales and titles still far outstrip the any and all phone-based games and the PSP. Now if you want to limit the discussion to phone-capable game platforms, you have a discussion, as Nintendo seems determined not to jump into this segment, at least with current offerings and the upcoming 3DS.
That said, the SONY offering looks intriguing, and I am all for more competition in the space. It will be fascinating to see if froyo's speed improvements are judged to be enough for these manner of games, or if gingerbread (or some game- or even SONY-specific extensions) allow for more direct device access.

Gwydion says:

@Robbie Alexander Yes, they can

Rio says:

I have an iPhone 4 but I would get one just for the games

iDavey says:

@robbiealexander they have stated that the specific section for these games will start off on this phone only, and spread to others depending on the capabilities of the phone.
As far as this phone...I like the concept, but its all about the delivery. I mean...we've seen SE botch a good thing many times coughXperiacough
But its nice to see the gaming brands taking sides in the mobile wars. PlayStation for Android. Xbox for Microsoft (of course). If Nintendo was to ever become synonymous with Apple, I'd lose it! I mean, theyree similar in almost every aspect so I think they should do it.

OrionAntares#CB says:

Yea, this doesn't seem like a device aimed at competing directly with iPhone but rather a device aimed at competing with Nintendo. Sony seems to like to do that with their gaming devices, making them overly "feature rich" which also always means overly expensive. However, if they can get phone carriers to subsidize this device they just might dodge that bullet in the competition with Nintendo this mobile gaming generation.

OneOfDaKine says:

That would be great, but what about battery life?

JH says:

The PSP GO has had a horrible sales run, because it requires rebuying games you've already bought. I don't really think people are going to go for buying the same games AGAIN, much less allow the DRM / online checking to occur. If this is going to compete with Apple gaming, it's already got a strike against it because it's not Nintendo.
Add in the strikes for downloading it from a specialized store and repaying for things, and then the "always on" DRM fears, and that will take down gamers.
Most my PSP playing friends use hacked roms.

John "Cas" Elm says:

Ha, anyone remember nokia's "Ngage" nice to see mobile phone gaming has come this far... Would still love to see a case or adapter with buttons for iPhone and gaming

jzajzz says:

I think the best news from Engadget is that Google's android Market will have hardware requirements for other handsets to access these games... that's great news..
because touch screen only games suck... they are good for casual gaming .. but not psp like gaming..

TK says:

@Robbie Alexander: They can, each Android Market is different for every phone. It depends on the capabilities and OS version of the Android device. An example would be that a Verizon Droid can access Verizon only apps but not Sprint only apps. Or an Android 1.6 device can't access apps for one that has 2.2, so Sony would just have to either make a certain section in the Android Market that only this phone could access or they would just have a Playstation Store app already installed on the phone.
I think that this might be a bad idea for Sony, anyone remember the N-Gage and how bad that did? I don't think people would be flocking over to this device just to have a PSP in their phone. This sounds good on paper, but I don't think it'll be good in practice.
Now if Nintendo made a phone that was a DS, then yeah I think people would go for that, not a biased opinion, people just prefer Nintendo in the portable gaming market.
The good thing is, this Sony PSP phone, will probably be sold on all carriers, I don't think Sony would want this exclusive to one carrier.

JoeP says:

Something like this could find fans among serious gamers, but I think it will barely be a blip for the mainstream.
Playing major franchise games is cool, but the mass market story is still about the whole ecosystem. This is a hard nut to crack, and these guys won't crack it.

Mr. Copyright says:

I just ordered iPhone 4 and don't regret it. The psp phone is cool, however the one I'm looking out for is windows phone 7. This will be cool.

Luc says:

Probably would try and sell my iPhone 3GS for one.

Josh says:

@everyone who has commented: as android is open source, Sony Ericsson can pretty much do what they like with it. I read somewhere that any vendor can change android as they see fit for their products. Having said that, this will fail, since it would either need to be able to take a UMD disk or have a lot of storage (like 128GB) or have cut down versions of games. Who really wants to play 3 mission of COD: Mobile? Not me.

dude droid says:

@TK: Not exactly. The android market is the same for all android phones. True there are carrier specific apps on the market but you CAN see them just not install them. Same goes for apps that are not compatible ie. 2.2 and up won't in stall on 2.1 and lower but you can see them.
Sony could easily provide access to an exclusive market with their games for their device. Android is theirs to do with what they please.
I would not worry. Nothing will ever drive Apple out of the game. They have dedicated users like many of you on here who have no reason or intention of switching teams.
I am thrilled that Android is doing well and love my Samsung Galaxy S but I am not so naive to think that something else will come along to compete with iOS, Android ect. sometime down the road. It is how technology rolls baby.

Calculus II says:

I could be wrong but I would bet money Sony will deliver this phone late and lacking.

Nick says:

@josh, PSP Go says Hi. It has 16GB of memory and the PSP games doesn't require that much. Average size of most games are around 700MB with 16GB, thats plenty..also lets not forget that since this is Android, you can install a memory card as well to have more memory. While this is great for the gamers wanting a deeper experience, myself...I want to separate myself my gaming needs from my mobile needs. I'll stick with the PSP itself, don't wanna be bugged by phone calls.

Hoffa says:

I Think it would compete with iPhone gaming.
I would not get one, only because I like to really get into games,360 ps3. Although games and gameplay may be better, to me like my iPhone , it's not for hardcore gamer

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