The idea of an Android-based Playstation phone doesn’t make a great deal of sense to me, and Sony Ericsson seem to agree with me — at least on the branding.
Today, CEO Bert Nordberg told the Wall Street Journal that the device will carry Xperia branding, rather than Playstation.
More interestingly, though, he alluded to a reveal at MWC 2011:
Mr. Nordberg, who said he wants to make a lot of “noise” with a new product at the Mobile Word Congress in Barcelona in February, said there is no technological difficulty in launching a gaming-oriented phone. The main challenge, he said, is that the company has to consult many lawyers to negotiate rights issues with game publishers. “I’m very glad that we work with a company like Sony, who actually knows how to do it,” he added.
This is no guarantee that the “Playstation Phone” will be the product revealed, but we can hope, can’t we?
The games will be sold through a dedicated app rumoured to be called Z-System, rather than the normal Android Market — the practical reason presumably to allow full compatibility with the slide-out gaming pad, the financial reason being to keep the games exclusive to Sony devices.
Clearly, Sony want to cash in on the casual gaming success seen on the iPhone, but will game developers be drawn to Sony’s Z-System, when — presumably — they can just offer the game through Android Market, and the millions of Android users out there not using Sony handsets?
So, unless the Z-System brings with it either an entirely new SDK that allows some killer features not possible on the Android SDK, or Sony bring some extra value in the Z-System (be it strong DRM or some kind of social gaming elements), I can’t really see this being a successful gaming platform.
I’m not saying it won’t be a successful phone, I’m just saying that I can’t seeing Z-System becoming the next PSP, Nintendo DS, or even iPhone.