Sony Drops Even More Hints About Possible PSP Phone (But Doesn't Want To Confuse Consumers)

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Daily Crunch: Travellers in Space and Time Edition

More hints—if you can even call them that—about a possible “PSP phone,” however that manifests itself. Kazuo Hirai, the top gentleman over at Sony Computer Entertainment, has said that if Sony were to create such a device it’d be very important not to confuse people about its capabilities, or even its purpose. “We don’t want gamers to be asking, what’s the difference between that and a PSP,” said Hirai.

The speculation surrounding a “PSP phone” has been ongoing for too long now. Will it be a PSP + phone? Will it merely be a standard-issue phone with PSP branding, maybe one with the ability to play classic games from PSN? (That’s the latest rumor, by the way.) Does the phone want to “take on” the likes of the Nintendo DS (and 3DS), or more the likes of an iPhone loaded up with a bunch of PopCap games?

It’s all to do, as they say.

What’s perhaps most interesting about this interview, which is more or less a recap of how the mobile gaming scene has changed since the PSP’s launch back in 2004, is that Sony seems to have embraced the idea that “casual” gamers should be embraced. We’re all one, big happy gaming family—the more gamers, the merrier. That, and that casual games have shown that touch-based interfaces can work just fine with several types of games. Perhaps not for your more sophisticated games, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t play a Mario clone with touch-based controls.

What I’d like to know is, was the PSP a big enough success to even warrant all of this speculation? Will a “PSP phone” have enough heat to draw enough people away from the iPhone+Android nexus?

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