PSP Phone could hit as soon as early 2011

Sony will soon release a PSP Phone with Android 3.0 technology, Engadget said today. But what kind of reception would a PlayStation Phone find on the market today?

PSP Phone: Engadget, which posted this photo – and others – earlier today, says it's a sure thing.

A PSP Phone is a done deal, Engadget announced today – and to prove the point, the popular tech blog posted a slew of images of a black handset with Sony Ericsson branding. Engadget says the PlayStation phone prototype, pictured above, will feature a screen "in the range of 3.7 to 4.1 inches," 512MB of RAM, and a1GHz Qualcomm chip.

Most important of all, the PSP Phone will get Android 3.0 "Gingerbread" software, catapulting the device to the front lines of smartphone tech. The phone will apparently be operated via a couple of D-pads, and a rectangle-shaped multitouch pad; it seems to be based in part on the PSP Go. Of course, all of this is very much up in the air – even if such a magical creature as a PlayStation phone does exist. (The rumor is not a new one.)

"The particular model in these shots is still in prototyping mode," Engadget's Joshua Topolsky writes today. "As such, the unit doesn't have a custom skin (not even SE's Timescape design seen on the Xperia devices), and is said to be rather buggy. We're digging into more facts as we speak, but it's likely that much of what we reported earlier is still accurate, and though the device could still be headed for a 2010 release, 2011 is looking much more realistic."

Engadget did not specify where it obtained the images.

Even if a PSP Phone does hit shelves in 2011, of course, it's unclear what kind of reception the machine would get. The smartphone market is already an extremely crowded place, with Apple and Nokia and a slew of Android-powered phones all jostling for attention. Presumably the PSP Phone would be targeted at hardcore gamers who also want to make phone calls once in a while – but isn't that what regular Android phones already do? You tell us.

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