Remember how right before E3, we had the rumour mill working overtime to bring us the insanest possible rumours on the then still unannounced 3DS, most of which turned out to be true? Yeah well, we’re at it again. As per a report uncovered by Endgadget, Sony is all set to unveil the sequel to their beleagured PSP handheld this October, and it will be a… smartphone.
It actually makes sense, if you think about it, and in more ways than one- it would give a big boost to Android based gaming, which has been largely underwhelming so far. It might revitalise flagging sales of Sony Ericsson mobile phones, and give the company ammunition to survive the onslaught of Apple’s iPhone. It would certainly be the only sensible way the PSP brand could continue to be viable- the PSP handheld, succesful though it was, had dismal software sales, declining hardware shipments, and zero third party and consumer interest. A PSP phone would be just the thing that might make the platfor releveant again, particularly in an era of iPhone gaming, and it would help it stay afload and on par with Nintendo’s upcoming 3DS handheld.
Now for the phone itself- it allegedly shares the PSP Go’s form factor, and includes a sliding gamepad. The gamepad will be identical to the PSP Go’s existing gamepad, shoulder buttons and all, except for the fact that there is now no analog stick, and there is a touch pad there instead, similar to the ones found on laptops, for analog controls. Sounds sensible enough, so far.
The phone is equipped with a camera with a resolution that may be as high as 5 megapixels, a large display, between 3.7 and 4.1 inches wide, and a snapdragon 1 GHZ processor being pegged as ‘likely.’
The device will be powered by Android 3.0, and the Android Store will be given an overhaul to have an all new section dedicated to games.
By the way, this won’t be out of line with what Sony execs have themselves told us in the past. When questioned about the PSP’s future in an interview, he suggested that the PSP might be en route to being a smartphone soon.
As of right now, Sony has declined to comment on the rumour, although I don’t think we need their confirmation at this stage. ll evidence seems to point towards the rumour being fact, and the company certainly has a notorious reputation with keeping secrets- last year, for instance, both the PS3 Slim and the PSP Go were prematurely ousted.
It seems a PSP successor is on its way. And it may not be what we thought it would be.
We’ll have more for you on this story, so stay tuned.
IMAGE COURTSEY OF KOTAKU