In the same way that analysts spent years saying that Apple should launch a phone, before one finally came about, the other most obvious prediction - that Sony should release a PlayStation game-oriented phone, has been going around the industry for the past four years.
A year ago, we wrote off the idea by saying that if it wasn't out by Christmas there would be no point. But word has leaked out that this is exactly what is planned, carried as a leaked certainty by Engadget along with a mock-up photo and the idea that it will be out in time for THIS Christmas.
The thrust of the idea is that the phone is being worked on to target the Android 3.0 (Gingerbread) operating system. It would be a side slider, but instead of a keyboard sliding out from under the landscape screen, a dedicated gaming controller similar to a PSP controller would slide out.
Given how many of the iPhone App Store apps are games (around 70%), it would seem that this is shutting the barn door after the horse has bolted. Apple has managed to entirely “take” the handheld gaming market with the iPhone and the iPod Touch, both devices which were never designed as gaming platforms.
The phone is seen as coming from Sony Ericsson, rather than Sony, something which was seen as improbable after public executive statements a year ago that Sony would forge ahead with its own phone design because it could not reach agreement with its handset subsidiary.
However some sources are suggesting that this gaming platform would owe something to the PlayStation brand, but even more to Google's and its Android Market, which would attract the gaming developers who have pushed the iPhone and iPod Touch so aggressively.
The device is also said to include a “long touch pad” for analog controls, standard PSP and shoulder buttons. A display which is between 3.7 and 4.1 inches, with 800×480 resolution, and coming with a 5 megapixel camera running on a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon chip.
The phone will be launched using either the Xperia or PlayStation brands, or maybe both. The big debate is whether this will have the processing power to play PSP or even PS2 class games as well, and whether or not game developers will have to do much conversion before making the leap to the new phone.
Engadget says it is being demoed with both types of games including God of War and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
An optimistic timeframe is given as October, which is like we said last year, in time for both Thanksgiving in the US, and Christmas.
This article originally appeared in Rethink Wireless