The mobile phone market introduces many challenges for the suppliers as user requirements change rapidly. The iPhone introduced slick design coupled with 3G capability and GPS, while the Blackberry gave business users full email control coupled with a user friendly phone. Personal and business usage varies from person to person. Where personal usage is concerned, one challenge in the market is gaming; the gaming phone is still in its infancy.
However this may be about to change as Sony has revealed plans to develop a hybrid device that combines PSP gaming with the Sony Eriksson model. The PSP has been a popular gaming console for some time.
Does this sound like a myth? What would such a device cost the average consumer?
Obviously, this is an attempt to compete with the iPhone which has a nice foray of gaming options and multimedia displays. Sources at MobileToday broadcast the claim back in January 2009 that Ericsson had indeed expressed a view that a more competitive phone was needed to match up to iPhone’s clasp on the mobile market.
Are we talking about a Playstation style phone also branded as Playstation or Sony PSP?
Whichever route is chosen, the aim seems to be heading towards retaining a hold on the mobile market and not losing out to Apple’s aggressive marketing.
Let’s look at how this will work for the market by looking at the users; consider a group of users whom like iPhone’s multimedia capability and Sony PSP gaming:
1. Convergence of gaming and phone functions allows for a more flexible portable device aimed at a variety of interest groups.
2. Not intrusive while gaming, a function from Sony will allow a dialog box to be displayed stating ‘A call is being received, would you like to suspend gaming?’
3. Transformation from a mobile phone into a gaming device is simply applied by rotating the device 180 degrees so gaming occurs with PSP style control.
Apple has captured a rather large segment of the market with the iPhone, iPod and the popular music portal iTunes. What Sony wants to avoid is their share of the gaming industry being compromised by Apple too.
Outside of this impending combination, Sony does have the PSP Go on the way which will go head to head with iPhone. Also, the market over the next few years will become filled with these types of phones. Yes, there are other players in the market.
Nokia N-Gage may have been a disaster on legs as people simply shunned the idea of the rather heavy cumbersome device, particularly when the iPhone arrived. Though, Nokia are hitting back with a new model coming out soon set to carry some major improvements. Microsoft Zune is set to become a major player in the world of mobile gaming.
A Samsung cloned phone already offers a mobile phone and gaming console combo but is pretty dodgy and I won’t be reviewing it for a while. It’s called Samsung 5200 but is not manufactured by Samsung but rather a Chinese manufacturer under the trade name of Anycall. It carries brands which must be violating copyright law with PSP etched as a trademark. Still, it exists and can be bought and has a suite of wonderful Nintendo games coupled with the usual functions of a mobile phone. But, if problems occur, what supplier will take responsibility – you can be certain that Sony won’t touch the device with a barge pole.
One aspect that will work if it is branded a Playstation phone will be the connection to the Playstation network. The PSP enabled phone would have access to the Playstation network allowing avid gamers to have further mobile gaming options.
So, gaming on your phone is moving up the technology wonder queue. Expect to hear about the Sony model soon enough.
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