Just a quickie – it would seem that Sony intends to have it’s own smartphone on the market by the end of the year. It’s being widely reported that a “mobile phone” version of the PSP will be hitting stores by the end of the year. But that would be a terrible idea… and probably isn’t going to happen.
What’s this now?
First reported on the Wall Street Journal, it seems that Sony is releasing a whole new range of consumer handheld devices. It reports that one of them will be a smartphone-style device, and the other will be a larger multimedia gaming platform to compete with the iPad (why do you want to compete with the iPad? It’s rubbish!)
And “gaming” really is the important word there. The mobile device Sony is talking about would be one that is geared towards downloading and playing games. But I honestly don’t think we’re looking at a “PSP with a phone built in” scenario here – and the reason I think that is because Sony aren’t stupid.
1) The PSP would not translate well to a phone. The form is all wrong, and it’s too big to comfortably just carry around in your pocket.
2) Previous “gaming phones” like the N-gage just didn’t sell. It’s not a proven model. People like good phones that can also play games, rather than a compromised gaming platform that happens to do some phone functions as well.
3) Sony has a good history of trying new things. Hopefully we’ll be looking at a new kind of device here – a slim, large-screen phone with Playstation controls and buttons subtly designed into it.
What would be really nice to see on this device would be a good chunk of storage space, allowing you to download and play full PSP games. But probably not – it will probably run pared down, easily downloadable games that are a shadow of what you’d get on a handheld console. Which begs the question: why buy it? If you want a handheld games console, buy one. Don’t buy a phone – they’re just not good enough for games yet.