Sony Developing Android 3.0-based Gaming Phone

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Sony Ericsson is developing a phone and gaming hybrid device that will use the Android 3.0 operating system, codenamed Gingerbread

Sony Ericsson is reportedly building a device that is a combination of a smartphone and a gaming platform, based on Android.

Sony Ericsson did not respond to comment for eWEEK, but Engadget broke the news and said the platform comprises a device running Google’s Android 3.0 (codenamed Gingerbread) operating system.

The controller is allegedly a phone with game controls in place of a QWERTY keyboard. The gadget will have an elongated touch pad for analog controls, along with standard PSP buttons and shoulder buttons.

Sony Looks To Android

The phone has a 3.7 inch to 4.1 inch with WVGA or better resolution, possibly a 5 megapixel camera and potentially a 1GHz Snapdragon processor.

Engadget said that in addition to Android 3.0 there will be a new area of the Android Market specifically for games running on this device. Titles created for the Sony device might be ported to other Android phones capable of supporting them.

“Games will be graphically in the range of PSX or PSP games, meaning true 3D gaming is headed to Android,” Engadget noted.

“Titles currently being shown off seem to be focused around some older PSX as well as new PSP offerings, with God of War, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and LittleBigPlanet possibly on tap, and future plans for titles which incorporate augmented reality features.”

Following Apple?

In embracing Android for phones and gaming, Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney told eWEEK that Sony could be taking a page from Apple’s playbook, where the iPod Touch gaming device and iPhone share the same OS.

The device could come as early as October, though this is a stretch for eWEEK. October is only a couple weeks away and there is a lot not known about the device. In fact, most of what Engadget reported seems nebulous.

What has been well carved out is Android’s reputation as a mobile platform for communications and entertainment devices for consumers. Android is running on about 70 handsets and Android 2.1 will be the basis for Google TV this fall.

Google itself is said to be getting more involved with online gaming, adding a big “why not?” to Engadget’s suggestion that Sony Ericsson and Google are working on the Sony gaming phone together.

Google recognises the rising popularity of games on the Internet and if it can somehow get people gaming on Android it opens up more opportunities to put ads in front of its users.

Indeed, Google invested $100 million (£64 million) in Zynga to build Google Games as part of an alleged social network, and recently acquired social widget maker Slide for $228 million (£146 million).

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