Is this the PSP Phone?

Rumours of a PlayStation phone have been around as long as the PSP itself and now out of the blue pictures of an apparent PlayStation mobile phone have appeared online – see the larger image below.

Engadget is assuring its readers that the pictured device is very real and is headed to the market soon”. As has been previously suggested, the machine runs Google’s Android operating system and also supports a custom Sony Marketplace from which games can be purchased.

Technically it boasts a 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8655 chip, which is a faster variant of one found in other Android phones such as the G2, as well as 512MB RAM and 1GB or ROM memory. The screen is around four inches wide.

The slider opens to reveal PlayStation-like controls, minus any analogue nub, as well as a central trackpad that allegedly supports multi-touch.

Engadget adds that the prototype device is rather buggy in its current state and is more likely than not to hit retail in 2011.

Way back in 2007 then SCEE CEO David Reeves was forced to deny rumours of a PSP phone, which at the time looked likely to emerge from Sony’s mobile partnership Sony Ericsson.

However, the rumours never went away with claims in 2008 that a phone was already in production and further suggestions last year that a mobile phone PSP is the only logical next step for the brand.

However, the impending announcement of the first true successor to the PSP does coast a shadow over the possibility of a PlayStation branded mobile phone, though of course a dual strategy encompassing both a dedicated next-gen handheld and a line of branded mobile phones could work.

UPDATE: An SCE UK spokesperson has told MCV that Sony has "no comment on rumour and speculation".

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