Let me preface this entire post with one statement: If Sony Ericsson can pull off what they are promising, we can safely forgive them for their Xperia line of so-so Android 1.6 handsets. That being said, SE is late into the development of an Android handset reminiscent of the PSP Go. That’s right, and not only will the handset look like a Samsung Captivate made love to the Go, but it will also feature an Android 3.0-based ecosystem built up for a superior gaming experience.
The hardware we are dealing with? A large screen between 3.7 and 4.1-inches with WVGA or better resolution, a 5MP camera, and a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU. The real kicker though is the inclusion of not a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, but rather a slide-out game pad featuring a D-pad, touch pad for analog control, and your standard four Playstation/PSP buttons. The device is said to carry the Xperia branding, but should also be receiving Playstation branding as well. The picture included is Engadget’s mock-up of the device.
But all that hardware means nothing without games to back it up, and SE apparently has teamed up with Google not only to get Android 3.0 on the handset with a custom skin, but also to bring a new section of games tailored for the device to the Android Market. Initially these games will only be available for the SE/PS device, and will be graphically equivalent to what we see in PSP or PSX titles. Games being tossed around include God of War, Modern Warfare, and Little Big Planet. Provided other handsets meet the hardware requirements, they may become available for the wider Android world at a later date. Right now word is the phone could launch as soon as October, further stoking the flames that the new version of Android could be launching sooner rather than later.
If this all pans out, it will score a major win for both Sony Ericsson and Google. SCEA will bring along a large catalog of published games that can be ported to Android while also pushing for new gaming development. Sony gets to have the makings of a hit handset and possibly the first real break-out mobile Playstation device. Android gets one step closer to being the ultimate mobile platform. OK, we know it might conjure up thoughts of the flop that was the Nokia N-Gage, but that was a time before smartphones had really taken off as an avenue for mobile gaming, and with this SE device being only an off-shoot of Android it enters into an already richly supported ecosystem. So who is excited?