Android ‘Gingerbread’ Powered PlayStation Smartphone Codenamed ‘Zeus’

You might have seen the pictures of a PlayStation smartphone powered by Android OS and built by Sony Ericsson floating around on the internet. Don’t worry; they have gotten further confirmation by Engadget’s “multiple, trusted sources.” The PlayStation phone’s codename? ‘Zeus’.

So what exactly is Sony Ericsson’s Zeus? It is a smartphone merged with Sony’s PlayStation technology. The specs are pretty interesting. The device will be running a 1 GHz Qualcomm processor (the MSM8655 ‘Snapdragon’ specifically) and pack 512 MB of RAM. The screen will be 3.7 to 4.1” diagonally and Zeus will have a multitouch capable touchpad in the center along with the standard PlayStation controls. Android 2.2 ‘Froyo’ is currently running on the Zeus but Android ‘Gingerbread’ which is now rumored to be version 2.3 of Google’s mobile operating system instead of 2.5 or even 3.0 as previously thought is expected to be the operating system shipped when this releases.

Apple’s iOS powered devices are now holding at least a 19% slice of the US mobile gaming pie, which is higher than Sony’s 11%. Of course, Nintendo’s DS platform has a whopping 70% chunk as of 2009 and plans to release a new 3D capable portable gaming in the near future, but Apple managed to go from 5% of the mobile gaming market in the US in 2008 to 19% in only a year while Nintendo lost 5% of the market and Sony’s PSP fell 9%. Those numbers put things in perspective? Apple is set to eventually challenge Nintendo’s GameBoy and DS legacy in coming years while gobbling up smartphone, media player and tablet sales. Sony needs the Zeus to be a smash hit and keep its mobile gaming platform alive—especially since Microsoft is putting Xbox Live on WP7.

Sony intends to set up a specific Sony Marketplace for the Zeus and it will be interesting to see how developers view it. Games are going to have to be written specifically for the device’s input options and there is no word yet how Android apps run. Overall though, the prototype looks kind of cool. The horizontal slider function that hides the gaming pad is certainly an interesting switch from the QWERTY keyboards sliders usually tuck away.

There you have it; the Sony Ericsson PlayStation smartphone looks to be very real. No word yet on a price or release date however. Interested in the possibilities? Starving for a gaming smartphone with real controls? Sony going to invariably mess up an awesome concept?

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