Sony Working on Google Android 3.0 PSP Phone

Sony Ericsson is reportedly building a gaming platform based on Android 3.0, the build code-named Gingerbread, for October. Engadget says the device is a gaming controller-mobile phone hybrid.

Sony Ericsson, maker of the Xperia X10 Android handset that is launching on AT&T's network Aug. 15, is building a gaming platform based on Android.

Sony Ericsson did not respond to eWEEK's request for comment, but Engadget, which broke the news, said the platform comprises a device running Google's Android 3.0 operating system (code-named Gingerbread).

The controller is described as a phone with game controls in place of a QWERTY keyboard. The gadget will have an elongated touch pad for analog controls, along with standard PSP buttons and shoulder buttons.

The phone has a 3.7 inch to 4.1 inch screen with WVGA or better resolution, possibly a 5 megapixel camera and potentially a 1GHz Snapdragon processor.

Engadget said in addition to Android 3.0 there will be a new area of the Android Market specifically for games running on this device. Titles created for the Sony device might be ported to other Android phones capable of supporting them.

"Games will be graphically in the range of PSX or PSP games, meaning true 3D gaming is headed to Android," Engadget noted.

"Titles currently being shown off seem to be focused around some older PSX as well as new PSP offerings, with God of War, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and LittleBigPlanet possibly on tap, and future plans for titles which incorporate augmented reality features."

In embracing Android for phones and gaming, Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney told eWEEK that Sony could be taking a page from Apple's playbook, as the iPod Touch gaming device and iPhone share the same operating system.

Sony's device could come as early as October, though this is a stretch for eWEEK to believe. October is only a couple months away and there is a lot that isn't known about the device. In fact, most of what Engadget reported seems malleable or speculative.

What has been well carved out is Android's reputation as a mobile platform for communications and entertainment devices for consumers. Android is running on about 70 handsets and Android 2.1 will be the basis for Google TV in fall 2010.

Google itself is said to be getting more involved with online gaming, adding a big, "Why not?" to Engadget's suggestion that Sony Ericsson and Google are working on the Sony gaming phone together.

Google recognizes the rising popularity of games on the Internet and if it can somehow get people gaming on Android that will open up more opportunities to put ads in front of its users.

Indeed, Google invested $100 Million in Zynga to build Google Games as part of an alleged social network, and recently acquired social widget maker Slide for $228 million.