The Competition: PlayStation Phone Leaked has received a handful of photos depicting a device clearly marked, in both physical design and software, as the fabled PlayStation phone.

The device features hardware gaming controls (something often requested for on the iPhone), a front-facing camera, a separate store for high-quality games that is controlled by Sony (which will presumably be a tie-in to the PlayStation Store). The phone will be running Android, likely to be 3.0 or ‘Gingerbread,’ on a Qualcomm MSM8655, clocking in at 1GHz. This chip is very similar to the one released in the HTC G2 on T-Mobile USA, with the only notable difference being the clockspeed (this one is clocked 200MHz faster than the G2). The phone will include the standard 512MB of RAM and 1GB of ROM.

Read on for specs, pictures, and why this matters

The touchpad-looking device in the center is in fact just that: a multitouch trackpad, which will be taking the place of analog nubs previously found on the PSP. On the sides, you have the standard PlayStation controls (up, down, left, right arrows on the left of the device, and the standard X, Circle, Triangle, and Square on the right side), which will undoubtedly be used to control PlayStation games. The shoulder buttons are present, though not visible at this angle. Instead of going the traditional Sony-way and offering a device that utilizes their in-house Memory Stick, this prototype will use the much more standardized microSD format. I’d also like to point out that, even though Sony Ericsson phones’ have been historically lacking in the software department, they do generally have outstanding build quality and materials, and the camera is usually of very high quality– the high-end devices are usually made with Carl Zeiss lens, the same brand of lens that the Nokia N8 has.

The prototype which was leaked has no skin, though that could obviously change before launch (guesstimated to be either Holidays 2010, or early 2011). The software is reportedly very buggy in its current build, so that’s a sign that there will definitely be changes to come.

Why does this matter? Because this is the first phone to be positioned (not just from a marketing perspective — the iPhone has already been there) as a gaming device that just happens to do everything a modern smartphone does. Make a call, shoot a text, slaughter some Chimera on Resistance: Retribution (the game has not been confirmed to be available; this is merely an example). Instead of taking the Apple approach of selling a phone with very minimalistic controls and waiting for enterprising developers to figure out how to make various genres of games work, Sony has designed a phone that just happens to slide out and reveal a full rack of dedicated gaming controls. But do people want a device that is so obviously a gaming machine that you can talk on? That seems to be the bet Sony (and, by extension, Google) is taking with this smartphone – PSP hybrid. It will be interesting to see which mindset prevails in the ever changing smartphone wars, now that we have three– Apple, Microsoft, and now Sony– big players making big bets with mobile gaming.

Hit the source link for dozens more photos of both the hardware and some of the software!


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