Calling all gamers
Sony Ericsson is set to reverse Android's gaming fortunes with a device rumoured to sit neatly between a smartphone and PSP Go.
According to Engadget, Sony Ericsson intends to ‘redefine' smartphone gaming on Android, which currently lags behind Apple's iOS 4, with no games apps in its ten most-downloaded applications. In contrast, nine out of ten of Apple's most popular apps are games.
The move to boost Android's gaming credentials may be a smart one, as recent research suggests factory unit shipments of game-friendly phones are increasingly in demand from casual gamers and predicted to top 1.27bn in 2010.
A ‘trusted source' said Sony Ericsson is in the latter stages of planning a new device, with rumoured help from Google, plus a revamped games platform and ecosystem.
It is said to be a PSP Go/ Samsung Captivate hybrid, boasting a landscape slider with traditional gaming controls including a D-pad. However, the PSP Go's mini joystick will reportedly be replaced with a ‘long touch pad' plus the usual array of PSP buttons.
The phone's black body has apparently been described as ‘pretty damn sexy' and has sliver accents with a silvery slider gaming part. More importantly, Engadget reported it has a generous WVGA-quality screen between 3.7 and 4.1 inches in size and Snapdragon 1GHz CPU inside. The handset also currently boasts a healthy 5mp camera although that might disappear.
It is tipped to form part of Sony Ericsson's Xperia range, although it will probably be branded as a PlayStation device too. The new game-friendly phone is also predicted to run Gingerbread or Android 3.0 and provide access to a new area of the Android Marketplace, dedicated to gaming.
Although some games may be designed specifically for use with the probable Xperia/PlayStation model, it is likely other Android handsets will reportedly be able to access the games too as long as they can cope with button layouts and other factors.
Engadget's source reportedly said the quality of the downloadable Android-based games will be similar to current PSX and PSP games, so users will finally be able to play 3D games via their phone.
Rumoured game titles supposed to grace the new handset include: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, God of War and even maybe LittleBigPlanet with titles that include augmented reality capabilities a future possibility.
In great news for gamers, Engadget believes the handset and gaming ecosystem could come to market in October, although there has been no word from Sony Ericsson, Google or PlayStation about whether the rumours are true.