Fresh 'PSP phone' patent surfaces
Could this be the final design?
Sony has long denied rumours that it's working on a PlayStation Portable (PSP) phone, but the company has lots of explaining to do now that a new Sony Ericsson patent application has come to light detailing just such a device.
Sony Ericsson's sketch for a PSP-cum-phone
The online application shows a device that consists of just a large touchscreen with a built-in accelerometer that allows it to reformat its GUI horizontally or vertically depending on which way it's held.
Several operating modes are mentioned, such as phone mode, web-browser mode and music player mode. When held horizontally, the unit goes into game mode and mimics “the look and feel of the popular Sony PlayStation Portable gaming device” by displaying touch-sensitive PSP controls at either end.
The next iPhone killer?
Haptic touch would provide user feedback when tapping on the device’s virtual keys, say, when playing a game or just writing a text message. No information is given about how games would be loaded or how the phone side of the device would operate.
The patent takes in a "mechanically vibrated touchscreen display", o there's even scope for rumble feedback in games.
Since the device has a full-size touchscreen with web and music operating modes, it’s also hard not to draw links with the iPhone. Interestingly, SE filed the patent application in August 2006, some time before Apple launched its handset.
SE filed a patent in Japan in 2005, which described an alternative PSP phone design. The device looked much like the existing 'fat' PSP, but allows the screen to rotate and certain keys to slide. In November, Sony said its executive Jim Ryan had been misquoted, after an Indian news source carried a quote from Ryan stating that convergence between the two devices was “definitely plausible”.
touch screen games
I've had the NES emulator on the Ipod Touch and its absolutely dire, you can't play it cos u have to concentrate on making sure you are pressing the on screen buttons rather than the game itself
Uses a 3G/Wifi connection to stream adult-entertainment right onto your handheld?
I'd like the check, and my coat please.
Well thats innovative!
All well and good for 'relatively' slow GUI access - works great on the iPhone for this very reason.
But in a games console/phone combo? I'm not sure, I would wager the touchscreen wouldn't provide the tactile feedback which a normal -raised- pushbutton provides, which is quite important.
Might be able to get used to it I suppose, it would indeed solve the sizing mismatch between traditional mobile phone and PSP forms.
@DrXym - thats not the device shape they're patenting, but just the screen, the pics demonstrate the on screen switchover capability between phone and games console and associated touch locations.
Doubt it will look like this
Patents usually show a generic design to illustrate the points the patent is meant to cover. After the designers have at it, any PSP phone is likely to look dramatically different.
Anyway a PSP phone would be an awesome beast. It's going to have to use storage instead of UMD so I wonder what that means for existing PSP owners. If Sony have sense, they'll produce a UMD dock where you can sync games to the phone in some way.
I don't see this selling
Who is this aimed at?
For most gamer type games a touch screen control pad would be awful, vibrating feedback or not. For casual games the price is likely to be too high.
Is the thing going to have a big screen for decent graphics and be too big for a phone or is it going to be a pocket sized phone with a screen too small to game with?
Will it be backwards compatable to the current PSP and need a UMD drive making it bulky and a battery hog or will everyone have to buy their games all over again?
It looks to be the n-gage all over again to me.