Engadget has posted images of a device it says is the prototype of the Sony Ericsson PlayStation phone, but some people are contesting the authenticity of the photos. Engadget is certain its photos are the real deal, and Sony is mum on whether the device even exists.
The PlayStation phone prototype is said to run on a 1GHz processor, with 512MB of RAM and 1GB of ROM. The leaked images show the device running a standard installation of Android (probably 2.2), but Engadget speculates the final version would come preinstalled with Android 3.0, the upcoming version of Google's mobile OS. The screen size is also uncertain, put somewhere between 3.7 to 4.1 inches.
From the pictures, the device has slide-out PlayStation-like controls, with two directional pads and a touch pad in the middle. At the top there are also two control buttons like on PlayStation controllers, but the phone lacks any PlayStation branding. There's a camera at the back with flash, yet the megapixel count was not specified, and the typical Android hardware buttons are also found below the touchscreen.
There is no specific PlayStation-like interface depicted in the images, and the launch date according to Engadget is also uncertain, sometime either before the holiday season or in early 2011.
Gaming publication Now Gamer is not convinced that the device pictured is the real deal, saying it understands the images are fake. The site notes that a large amount of dirt collecting around the screen and mentions of "A" and "B" buttons in the interface (not found on the hardware) are telltale signs that the pictures are fake.
Now Gamer says it contacted Sony and Sony Ericsson, but both parties said they wouldn't comment on rumor and speculation. PCWorld also contacted Sony and received the same statement. PCWorld was unable to confirm the authenticity of Engadget's images.
Rumors of a PlayStation phone from Sony to compete with the iPhone have been around for more than a year. In March, the rumors resurfaced, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal, so the leak from Engadget is just the latest in a long line of speculation about Sony's upcoming plans in the smartphone arena.
Overall, the device pictured in the leaked photos looks bulky, plasticky and ugly. If this turns out to be Sony's idea of a gaming-oriented phone to compete with the iPhone, then the company is probably setting itself up to fail.