Tomorrow's the PlayStation Phone's big day, after months that felt like years speculating about what it would look like, how much it would cost, and what the heck Sony plans to actually call it (hint: not 'PlayStation Phone').
Try 'Xperia Play', after Sony Ericsson's Xperia series of high-end smartphones. Sony teased a quick shot of it during a Super Bowl 2011 Android phone commercial, a shot that more or less matched the device in all those fuzzy pictures we've stared at for months (we're blessed with reliable tipsters, it seems, but wildly incompetent photographers).
If you're thinking "but it's just a slightly less attractive PSP Go," you're not far off. The Xperia Play clearly owes its design to the Go, a slide-top gaming handheld in turn derived from Sony's defunct My Life Online (mylo). We hear it'll include a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon (QSD8255) processor running Android 2.3 ("Gingerbread"), sport a generous 4-inch 854 by 480 pixel Bravia-powered touchscreen (compared to the PSP Go's 3.8-inch 480 by 272 pixel screen), include a 5.0 megapixel camera, 512MB memory, a microSD slot, and a slide-out bottom piece with an oblong touchpad splayed between Sony's trademark PlayStation d-pad (left) and symbol-etched four buttons (right).
We're also pretty sure it'll support Sony's new PlayStation Suite, a software development framework for bringing older PlayStation and PlayStation Portable games to a variety of devices that support the standard. In fact the Xperia Play may just be the tip of an iceberg, an overhyped Android phone that mostly plays older PS One ports. For all the hay the gossip blogs made about this thing, the real news was Sony's Next Generation Portable all along, a device that makes the Xperia Play look like yesterday's news.
Sony's set to unveil the Xperia Play tomorrow (Sunday, February 13) at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. We'll cover the conference when it kicks off at 1:00 PM EST (6:00 PM GMT).