Hot on the heels of Nintendo’s illustrious unveiling of their new 3DS console, Sony has decided to take the lid off of ONE of their upcoming mobile platforms. It’s been whispered about behind Sony corporate booths at tradeshows, and murmurs of it can be heard bouncing through the aisles of your local mall from the lips of the nerd soothsayers that roll around in the Sony Style Store chanting ‘PlayStation Phone’ in tongues.
Well, this IS the PlayStation phone, at least the closest we’re going to get to one for a while, and it’s Sony Ericsson’s new XPERIA R800i. It’s a more or less typical looking handset upon first glance. It’s got a volume toggle on the side, charging and headphone ports, logos where you’d expect them, and a 854×480 pixel multitouch display. But, slide the screen up and you’re looking at essentially a flattened dual shock controller, sans one set of shoulder buttons. The iconic 4-button pad is still there, as is the d-pad, and the dual control sticks have been replaced with two round touch pads.
According to initial tests, it seems to have enough power under the hood to handle 3D rendering with as much grace as any other competitor and more so, particularly because of its ample 512 megabytes of system memory. It’s an Android handset, a fact that’s clear enough once you notice the four Android hotkeys at the bottom of the screen. It’s running a modified version of the Android platform for now, changed to feature some healthy sprinklings of PlayStation flavors. It will be able to run any game you can imagine from the Android App store, and there are sure to be plenty of third party games developed for a mobile device with ‘PlayStation’ in its name. What’s more, the open Android platform makes finding decent emulators a snap, so you can play Super Mario World on the virtual Super Nintendo running on your Sony PlayStation Phone and stand there boggled by the staggering marvels you’re experiencing.