Sony Ericsson to release PSP-like Android smartphone (it has a slide-out game pad!!)
If you hadn't realised yet, the image above is a mock-up of what Engadget thinks the phone will look like. We know that it will have a slide-out hardware controller, and that it will feature gaming controls rather than a QWERTY keyboard (I wonder if you'll be able to type SMSes with the Square, Triangle, Circle and Cross...) There won't be an analogue joystick (boo!), but there will be shoulder buttons. Other than the game pad, the hardware is nothing special: a big screen, a 5-megapixel camera and a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU. I wonder if it will emulate PlayStation and PSP games, or whether it will have some juicy Sony-developed co-processors to run things natively?
Now the only bit that everyone really cares about: the games. Considering the mediocrity of Android's gaming scene, a big blob of love from Sony would be huge news. (Aside: Did you see how chummy Google and Sony CEOs looked during the announcement of Google TV? I wonder if Google courted this development from Sony Ericsson...)
Anyway, there will be a new category on the Android Market, just for for these new PlayStation-esque games. As to what games will be made available, who knows! The Engadget article is short on details in that regard, so we'll have to speculate. Will it leverage the PSP's excellent library of games? Or is this new phone merely intended to court the cautious game developers that are paddling in Apple's warm, cerulean waters? 'Pssst! We have hardware buttons! Come make some games!'
We'll have to wait until later this year to find out.