The Android-packing PlayStation Phone has been talked-up beyond belief over the past three years. But the much-vaunted mobile now seems imminent, with spy shots, spec leaks and even an invite to a French press event for the phone’s unveiling on December 9th hitting the web. So, what to expect? And how can the PlayStation Phone save the ailing Sony Ericsson from certain doom? Read our top 10 now to find out.
1 Use the very latest version of Android
Google’s OS is set to be at the heart of the PlayStation Phone, and being a flagship effort, it makes perfect sense for Sony Ericsson to use the very best version of Android.
By teasing it in December, when Android 2.3 Gingerbread is also expected, we could be finally be seeing something cutting-edge from Sony Ericsson’s Android department. If the phone is indeed being shown off ahead of a 2011 release, it could even come with Android 3.0 Honeycomb.
2 Offer games to rival Apple
Apple has sewn-up the mobile gaming space since the launch of the App Store, but Sony Ericsson could find itself thrust into battle with Cupertino if the PlayStation Phone delivers. Using the PlayStation Network and offering some awesome Sony games would make it every bit as enticing as the iPhone, as long as titles aren’t prohibitively priced.
3 Keep prices down
Sony Ericsson will find the PlayStation Phone won’t shift if games cost a bomb. That’s a lesson that should have been learned from the disastrous PSPgo, for which titles were far too expensive. Apple’s App Store games are on-the-spot affordable on the whole and Sony’s games need to be the same.
4 Don’t just focus on gaming
Yes, games will be central to this blower. But in order to succeed, it has to be an all-round winner, capable of doing the business with a great camera (usually a given on a SE phone), excellent multimedia skills and a breezy interface. Gaming has to be at its heart, but the PSP phone needs to be much more than a console you can send texts from.
5 Keep things simple
At the same time, if Sony Ericcson tries to get clever, it could find the device too diffuse. That’s why it has to eschew Timescape and go with vanilla Android and let Google pick up the slack with its ace OS. Sure, give it a nice paint job to match PlayStation colour schemes, but draw the line there.
6 Be on time
This might seem basic, but it’s a killer. If Sony Ericsson slaps this thing with a release date, it needs to be sure it can make it. Otherwise disappointment, and then resentment, will grow among the hardcore who’ve been gagging for this phone for years.
7 Pack tight integration with the PS3
Windows Phone 7’s Xbox Live skills, and its ability to hook up with the Xbox 360, is smart and stunning. If Sony can manage a similar feat with this phone, then it’ll be onto a winner. Cross platform gaming is in its infancy, but Windows Phone has shown that it’s something well worth pursuing.
8 Lord it over rivals
The uniqueness of this phone will give Sony Ericsson something that rival manufacturers just don’t have. Sony Ericsson won’t need to be asked twice to show why this smartie is different and it’ll give the phone-maker a shot in the arm when competitors are surging ahead.
9 Don’t land at the same time as the X12
The Anzu, or X12, is all set for a February launch. If the PlayStation Phone is released at the same time, that could undermine it and confuse punters. Just look at Windows Phone 7’s diverse lineup for how that could happen. This needs to be a singular, hyped-up release.
10 Use the X10’s build quality
The X8’s design feels cheap and nasty, just like the PSPgo. The X10 has to be the go-to device for inspiration, something that looks stunning but doesn’t feel like it’ll snap just by looking at it. Get the design right, and make it look like a pared- down PSP, and Sony Ericsson should be laughing.