Gamer’s View: Insights on the PlayStation Phone Rumor

Once again, the Playstation phone rumor has been revived. A recent image from Engadget along with allegations that the device in the picture is the real deal has once again sparked all the big rumors about the possibility of Sony allowing Sony Ericsson’s engineers to help crank out a new product with the Playstation brand.

However, as promising as the possibility may be, there are some red flags in the whole concept that still need to be addressed.

First off, the lack of PSN; the announcement that there will be a Playstation Marketplace may seem interesting to non-gaming readers, but for those familiar with Sony Computer Entertainment (the part that actually handles the Playstation branding), it is a well known fact that an online store already exists: the Playstation Network. And an argument that the “Marketplace” will be unique since it will host Android compatible apps, that notion is also void.

The fact is that PSN already hosts downloadable games and content for both PS3 and the PSP. Adding in a new category for an Android phone would not be much of an issue –but opening a completely new store just for Sony Ericsson is a moot point.

The second major issue is the lack of the XMB (or cross media browser). Sure, the Android is an amazing OS, and SE even has that Timescape UI for the XPERIA series. But the XMB is the core user interface for Sony’s entertainment systems, from the PSP, to the PS3, and even in the Sony Bravia. It is however, possible to re-skin the XMB on top of the Android OS.

In all honesty, gamers would certainly appreciate the presence of a great gaming phone. But to make it the mainstream device would be a gamble. It is likely that if the PS Phone will be made, it will only be a secondary device to the upcoming PSP 2 (much like the Playstation Portable Go).

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