Last week at the Game Developers Conference, Sony showed off their very own full motion interface, the PlayStation Move. And… that was pretty much it. Most folks were fine with, though I was expecting something else, which there was absolutely no hint of. I’m talking about the much-fabled PSP. Not the PlayStation Portable, but the PlayStation Phone.
The ideas has been floating around for years now, dating back to 2007 at least, in which the big company’s mobile phone division, Sony Ericsson, wanted to created a handset that incorporated the PlayStation brand, similar to how they’ve already produced Walkman and CyberShot branded phones, to help fend sluggish sales. Whereas both of those names are still strong in Japan, elsewhere across the globe they get a resounding “eh”. Whereas the PSP name held some value, comparatively speaking. It was still getting it’s kicked in by the DS, make not mistake, though iPhone had just come out and was still locked off to developers at this point, and therefore not the smash success it is today.
But in the end, the project was killed, due to various internal nonsense. Still, it certainly got more than a few folks excited; here’s one of my favorite mock-ups from that time:
Anyway, a few weeks ago came word that Sony have been back to the drawing board and a PlayStationPhone might indeed be a go at long last for 2010. Why the change of heart? Well, Sony needs all the help they can get to push their online services, and the downloadable content is where the money’s at these days. Back in 2007, there was no App Store, and everyone’s all scrambling to create their own virtual marketplace (yet even in this instance, Sony is awfully late to the dance). As for this particular device, it’s definitely a PSP that can make phone calls (there was never enough info available regarding this possibility before), and while the PSP brand name is certainly a lame duck, more now than ever, you’ve got all these games already in existence, really to be deployed elsewhere. And on phones it might actually work, since the download only PSPGo, which alas cannot make phone calls, is a lame duck if there ever was one.