There are some exciting things coming out of Sony’s video game department lately. First, they worked out many of the bugs plaguing their PS3’s online gaming capabilities – which is free, unlike competitor Xbox 360’s paid Xbox Live service. Their PSP handheld gaming console has started to find its feet, gaining on Nintendo’s DS handheld after years of lagging behind. Sony also recently threw their hat into the motion gaming ring, releasing the PlayStation Move controller and functions in direct competition with Nintendo’s Wii-mote and Microsoft’s recently released Kinect environment for Xbox 360. Now, Sony appear to be setting their sights on Apple.
Unless you’ve been living on another planet for the last few years, you’re bound to recall the huge success of Apple’s iPhone. This device is part phone, part status symbol, part pocket computer – and it’s made serious strides in the mobile gaming market. Through use of the iPhone’s apps, users can do anything from review recipes to organize their closets at the touch of a button. There are also thousands of games designed for use on the iPhone, whether brand new titles like Angry Birds or ports of old classics. The huge success of games on the iPhone and other smart devices has seemingly caused Sony to rethink its approach.
One of the biggest drawbacks to using a typical handheld gaming device is that you need to carry the cartridges for any games you want to play, and also carry around the device itself. At over $100 for a handheld device and an average $20-40 per game, this can get expensive very quickly. Using the iPhone, gamers don’t have to purchase or carry around any extra equipment – after all, who goes anywhere without their cell phone anymore?! The game apps on iPhone are also far less expensive than a traditional handheld game. Most apps cost less than $10, and several are free. Plus, with the iPhone, you don’t need to carry anything but your phone to access these games – once you download the app, it’s ready for play whenever you are.
Sony appear to be catching on to Apple’s way of thinking, as rumors abound about an upcoming PlayStation Phone. Rumors about this device were A few prototype photos of the PlayStation Phone were released on tech blog Endgadget last week. So far, the design isn’t far off from the PSP handheld, looking vaguely like what might happen if a PSP and Motorola’s Droid smartphone had a baby. A basic screen slides up and out of the way, but there’s a full-sized gaming controller where a keyboard might be.
According to Endgadget, the PlayStation phone will boast a screen size of between 3.7 and 4.1 inches. It’s expected to contain a 1GHz processor and 512MB of RAM. The PlayStation phone is also believed to run on Android 3.0. The controller portion of the phone contains a touch pad for easy surfing and gaming use, and there will also be a port for MicroSD cards. Some information that’s curiously absent is a list of potential game titles slated for the PlayStation Phone – though PCWorld have put forth some ideas.
Not a lot of information has been confirmed about the PlayStation phone as yet. It could come equipped with very different specs – and (from the stripped-down prototypes in the photos at Endgadget) it’s pretty clear we don’t even know what it’ll look like yet. There’s also no information about whether this device will pledge allegiance to one mobile carrier, as with AT&T and the iPhone or Verizon and the Droid. As yet, no launch date for the PlayStation Phone has been announced. Endgadget believes this phone will hit stores sometime in 2011, but there’s still time for a holiday season surprise.
Joshua Topolsky. “The PlayStation Phone.” Endgadget.
“Wish List: Top 10 Games for PlayStation Phone.” PCWorld.