Although the iPhone wasn't developed to compete with prominent mobile gaming devices from the likes of Sony and Nintendo, Apple's touchscreen smartphone has still managed to unwittingly become one of the most popular portable gaming systems ever devised. Looking to re-capture some of its lost marketshare, the makers of the PlayStation have teamed with mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson to produce the first of its kind "PlayStation Phone."
After months of rumors and speculation, Sony Ericsson teased the forthcoming gaming-optimized smartphone in a commercial that aired yesterday during the Super Bowl. On the grandest marketing stage in the world, the Sony Xperia Play was unveiled to the world as a revolutionary "PlayStation certified smartphone."
Although full details on the Xperia Play won't be available until February 13th, the device will run on Google's Android operating system and features a sliding screen with familiar PlayStation gaming controls like directional pad, four face buttons and Start and Select buttons. While there are clearly some modifications from the control mechanisms of the PSP, PlayStation gamers should have no problem getting accustomed to the new "PlayStation phone."
The only question is whether the new platform will truly eat into the iPhone gaming audience. Expectations, naturally, for the new Sony Xperia Play are already very high. And with the PlayStation Portable having sold an estimated 60 million units worldwide, Sony has a large "built-in" audience that will try virtually anything with the PlayStation brand emblazoned across it. As a result, the new platform could make a significant dent in the smartphone space as we presently know it.