Sony Ericsson Working on Android 3.0 Gaming Handset


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?

[via Engadget]

Kevin Krause
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  1. Bloody hell I don’t know if I can wait till at least October to have one

  2. Now this is what I call a Game Changer.

  3. I’m excited though not because I want the device itself… But I would love to see it drive game development forward. And open up those games to other devices I may own.

  4. ipod what? wow!

  5. I’m excited, if it performs as good as my Droid X and comes to Verizon count me in!

  6. Not only that but it means more phones will follow suit and have physical controls. Android phones will have more differentiation and it will be like PC vs Mac all over again. For years Apple insisted on a one button mouse while gamers wanted more and more. Mighty Mouse didn’t exactly help.

  7. btw Kevin don’t ever compare Sony to Nokia again. :)

  8. I hope this comes out for verizon. But somehow I don’t see that happening. :(

  9. I hope this doesn’t go to Verizon. This going to Verizon could be the worst possible thing for Android.

    Watch, if it does go to Verizon, all of the games for this device would be Verizon-only. :facepalm:

  10. Sigh, I’m really getting tired. I’ve been 6 months, waiting for a phone,that has a real gpu,processor.Then i wanted a keyboard.Now i said fuck keyboards, and decided i’ll buy the galaxy s. I was just about to buy one, when i see this. I mean my friends all hate me already for constantly talking about android and tell me to shut up and buy a phone.
    I don’t know what to do any more. Something awesomer keeps coming out. It feels worse than buying a pc.


  12. I am going to reserve judgment until I see how this plays out, but my initial impression is that this could be a bad thing. I worry that it could steal developers that would have otherwise developed games for Android put all their money in the PSPhone basket and only develop games that require the extra buttons to play. If this phone explodes in popularity we may see a whole slew of awesome games that we can’t play on the hottest HTC phone because it doesn’t have a gamepad on it.

  13. This thing is verizon bound. i just know it!

  14. Maybe this is what they will announce tomorrow.
    I would turn in my N1 for this. Only this

  15. Seems like this is more than rumor. It would be very impressive if it comes to fruition. But SE has trouble putting 2.1 on the X10, a PSPhone with Android really sounds like something beyond their capabilities. I could be wrong, and I’d prefer to be wrong. Guess we’ll find out soon enough.

  16. Sounds great in theory, but I can’t imagine how the battery on this thing would fare.

  17. @LEX Thanks, at least i feel like less of a loser though if i don’t get the galaxy s i think my girlfriend will leave me.
    Its just so hard not to talk about android and new phones, they’re awesome.

  18. This would be one of those money making ideas worthy of getting Sony stock if they can have an android phone playing at the ps2 level or better.

  19. Why the snapdragon? The omap processor on my droid x WAY more capable with graphics than my nexus one with snapdragon (even with it on 2.2)

  20. @Spencer So very true, im sure they won’t use the snapdragon, it makes no sense.

  21. How about releasing 2.1 for their existing phone? Android 5.0 will be the norm by the time this comes out.

  22. Could be a dual core snapdragon. That would work pretty well.

  23. I’m gonna call the name right now…

    …the PSX.

  24. eh.. doesn’t sound too sweet. And it will have to have at least a 4.0 inch screen according to Gingerbread requirements. I’d hope for at least the 1.2 snapdragon, or a dual core.

    As Spencer said, the OMAP or Hummingbird is MUCH more capable, and I have my Captivate running at 1.2Ghz. why would I shell out bucks for this when my Captivate will blow it out of the water?

  25. MEh…..is this their way of stopping 3ds???

  26. Three words: Grand Theft Android!

  27. Why would anyone mix the Captivate with the PSP GO? Looks kinda stupid.

  28. I’m an android fan, but when it comes to gaming I’m Nintendo all the way. This just might switch me over to Playstation/Sony, though, if it’s affordable!!!

  29. Ok am i the only one that see what behind the phone looks like the psp go sorry about the bad spelling

  30. Doesn’t the PSP do good enough yet for you Sony?

    I’d rather that sony focus on their Xperia line-up in terms of the update to eclair (better with froyo),rather than focusing on a new device for the moment.

  31. If Sony allows this device log into the PSN and msg/manage our friends list, manage our account, access the ps store and play minis, They may have just sold 1.

  32. hey now, i had the n-gage and it was sweet for the time. it just didnt do so well because people were stuck in the tradition of what cell phones were at that time

  33. sony should work day and night and release it in september. This could be a game changer

  34. I don’t see this taking off. I wonder how good the battery life will be?

  35. What really excites me about this is that Sony will probably bring Mini’s into play here.

    You cannot have enough quality games. ;-)

  36. yeah, have it (mostly.)

    My droid is running froyo and overclocked to 1.2Gh.
    With PSX4Droid, I’m running tons of PSX games.

    Bonus: with the rubber game pad, I have directional pad and 8 other perfect buttons, plus 3 up top (vol up down and cam) to use for most of the shoulder buttons.

    I just got done with a 2 hour session of mechwarrior 2 (seido battery kicks butt) and I’ve still got 60% of my battery after talking on the phone all day as well..

    My droid is awesome.

  37. I’ll think I’ll wait on the X10 if it does have the PlayStation branded phone I would love to have it. I’ll wait till the IFA conference next month it will kick so much ass. I have a PHONE AND A PSP all in one.

  38. 2 things worry me”
    1. battery life – i cant imagine this thing will run too long with these games playing but with alot maybe riding on this project they may throw in a much larger battery than usual.

    2. after the announcement or the epic 4g and the psx emulator for android I’m not sure if I’m as excited for this as I should be. However it would open up the ability to play fighing games and not just FF7(or other RPGS and the like) Also we “know” that this device will ship with 3.0 whereas we still dont know what devices will be updated to 3.0 and when.

    other than that I am looking forward to what SE can brin to the table and if they can do so in the timeslot mentioned above then even beter.

  39. I just can’t wait for 3.0 and a bunch of devices with cool skins we can toss around in the mod community. The device looks awesome though, despite the lack of actual photos of the new skinned 3.0 environment. That looks just like a stock 2.1 device to me.

  40. @Ban – I did the same thing. Broke down and got myself a Samsung Vibrant. Just figured that if something better comes out I will just sell the Vibrant and get the next one. However my Vibrant is running sweet now with all the goodies that XDA is releasing for it. Benchmarked my phone at 2288 today!

  41. wow this should keep me entertained is it ganna be for verizonn!!

  42. If this includes the ps3 integration found in psp’s I will be getting a phone in this line (may hold out for a 4g phone like this) this could bring real gaming and maybe even digital copy movies (via ps3/PSP like interface) to android. And that thought gets me slightly sexually aroused.

  43. Sounds too good to be true. The length of time it took SE to release the X10 (with OS 1.6!), I cannot believe they can release this in Oct. Maybe next Oct. :-) Just to clarify, despite my skepticism I’m hoping for the sake of Android that SE does surprise me with an awesome device in 2 months’ time.

  44. @jbaker- FYI;gingerbread requires 3. 7″ not 4″

  45. The only let down bit in this great news is the fact that they’re going to use Snapdragon processors unless it was the rumored dual-core snapdragon processor

  46. This is what i’m talking about! Makes justice for psx-emu, wich is horrible with touch-screen.

  47. @asqwerth,

    It is important not just for android, it is important for sony as well. Sony is taking a beating in all areas from Apple. So this will allow them to hit back if executed right. Sony and Google partnership might just be the most defining moment in consumer electronics. Brains(google)+the cool design(sony) might just be able to take on Apple. Google also needs to partner with Nokia. Nokia is the best hardware manufacturer bar none on this planet. There is a reason why Nokia sells 100 million plus phones every quarter. Yes better than even Apple in hardware(Apple excels in design, user interface and software). What they lack in is Software.

  48. 顶一下,欢迎回访并加友链。

  49. If its toting a 1ghz snapdragon and trying to make this a gaming device thats sort of fail. Samsung’s Processor is much better for gaming this was already proven. I mean the processor was just overclocked to 1.6ghz powerful stuff.

    Also I doubt this is going to be anything playstation. I mean really are they going to make psp and psp go games compatible? They are going to have to overlay the XMB if thats the case. Not too many could be happy about that as far as Android PHANs go. Android is about customizing etc and playstation does thing to prevent hacking. I am thinking the bootloader will be locked or maybe they will do what AT&T does as a matter of fact I think this will be AT&T bound. Sony Ericcson has always been a cingular, at&t partner and thats pretty much what this is.

  50. @2FR35H,

    there are tons of non-sony android phones. So dont worry.

  51. Steve Ballmer: dammit I could’ve made the xbox phone and now I’m stuck with zune, silverlight and a lame version of IE

  52. @2FR35H

    Yea even if they have the XMB interface, what makes you think you wont be able to customize it? Remember even though its there interface Android is “Open Source” so they by law have to post the source firmware online for people to access. And with a phone like that it will attract allot of attention(meaning more devs). I wouldnt worry, if they do this right this could be very big.

  53. The phone is to be build for gaming yet its using a snapdragon processor?


    Because Snapdragon processors are known to be gaming friendly? This is a joke right?

  54. Sony/Ericsson…you had me at God of War. But please, please expand beyond GSM and bring a CDMA compatible device to market.

  55. This would be HUGE for Android if they could bring that level of gaming to the platform… but something is wrong here. Top tier quality games (mobile or not) take at least a year, usually two or three to develop… together with tons of money. I respectable version of Modern Warfare, for example, would take a major investment of time and money to port over to Android. This is the first time I have ever heard of anything like this and I follow the gaming industry VERY closely (a lot closer than I do Android) and I have a VERY hard time believing that a Sony Android-based gaming device would be out by this October running big name games like God of War and Modern Warfare! The only thing I could imagine would be that Sony has developed some kind of PSP emulator which can run on high-end Android devices? These must be direct ports of existing games. I don’t know.. I would have to see how this pans out. But I will believe this one when I see it.

  56. People complaining about Snapdragon… first of all.. this is all rumors right now right? Secondly.. the Primary processor for something like this would really be secondary. What a phone/game system like this would really need is a KICK-ASS GPU to push 3d graphics around. If you can offload all the graphics to the GPU then the primary processor just needs to do the ordinary every day stuff. This whole thing sounds very fishy to me though. Sony has the PSP… the PSP Go.. they are supposedly working on a PSP2. This just seems backwards… it would be such an odd move for Sony. As much as I would love to see top tier amazing games on the Android platform… this whole thing is just difficult for me to buy.

  57. If all this is true then my only wish is that its not exclusive to one carrier.

  58. This would be a big IF.

  59. I heard a couple months back that it would be called The Sony PSPP

  60. yep even I read on some sites, that Sony is developer an emulator for android. Sony really has no choice. They are slowly sinking into obsolescence and this alliance with google gives them a fighting chance of survival

  61. this phone would be the neo of android phones for big gamers. Would be the perfect set up for playing the awesome emulators in the market! almost seems to good to be true…

  62. Nothing ‘obsolete’ about the PS3. The gaming connections Sony can bring to android is mind blowing.

  63. I think I am just going to wait for the dust to settle and play my games on my laptop and use my phone as a phone..

  64. That’s great. I want to have 1 asap.

  65. It should look like x10i. The one in photo looks odd

  66. I hope it has all the capabilities of PSP and more ie; games, 3D, music, videos & Phone’ s web browsing, flash player, dual cameras for video chatting messenger and all other social networks, and to include USB, HDMI connections and expandable memory, to really make it a joy for gamers and everyday smartphone addicts. All this would be the price tag. Even if is as bulky as the PSPGo and if could be at “5” screen is a large phone but for the gaming video experience is worth it!

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