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Google got game: Is Sony Ericsson working on PlayStation branded Android handset?

Google got game: Is Sony Ericsson working on PlayStation branded Android handset?
Ever since PSPgo failed to take off in the west, many commentators have suggested some sort of PlayStation Phone – aimed more squarely at iPhone rather than DS – is merely a matter of time.

The supposed handset's no-show at E3 2010, however, appeared to put its development on hold, Sony instead opting to push its current PSP line-up through a combination of refreshed advertising and discounted software.

Now it seems some sort of halfway house is in the offing, with Engadget reporting Sony Ericsson is set to announce a PlayStation branded Android handset in the very near future.

Amping up Android

Due for release as early as October, the site claims a trusted source has revealed that the new device – which is possibly being developed in conjunction with Google – will be a landscape slider with game controls (including a d-pad) in place of a QWERTY keyboard.

Also said to be on board is a 5MP camera and a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU.

Running Android 3.0 (aka Gingerbread), the source has told Engadget that the handset will come equipped with its own dedicated section of Android Market, populated by software designed to take advantage of the handset's unique button layout.

Coming together

It's the level of co-operation between the two parties, however, that has the potential to make the most waves.

From a gaming perspective, Android is the smartphone platform that has the best chance to take on iPhone's current dominance in the years ahead, while PlayStation as a brand remains a force to be reckoned with.

The two parties also both have a vested interest in weakening Apple's position in the smartphone market.

Google's various disputes with Apple are well documented, while many believe PSP's software sales have been severely hampered by iPhone's app assault in the last couple of years.

The implementation of any link to PlayStation will be key, however. A token gesture that goes no further than name, for instance, is unlikely to make all too much of a splash.

As such, Engadget's claim that franchises such as God of War, Little Big Planet and ports of some original PlayStation titles are all currently in development suggest the device, if real, could prove a key tool in Android's arsenal.

[source: Engadget]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.

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Finger controls for smart phones for game playing are the next push by Apple since it realized that virtual controls on the screen take up valuable real estate. Duh! Why not dual D-pads and fire buttons, or the whole nine yards with dual analog controls as well? Touch sensitive finger controls can be incorporated into a skin or "bumper" as Apple is issuing for its antenna fix. Only its "Made for Apple" licensing program is stalling implementation.