Dec. 6, 2010 at 2:39 PM ET
Video footage of the wily, mysterious and perhaps non-existent PlayStation phone has emerged on YouTube.
Is this elusive gaming gadget for real? Many believers say yes. Sony says "no comment." Well ... kinda.
As seen in two videos released anonymously on YouTube over the weekend, the Sony Ericsson "Zeus" model phone includes a touch screen as well as a slide-out control pad complete with a directional pad, four buttons for gaming and a touchpad.
In fact, it looks a fair bit like the PSPgo released by Sony last year (a device that's seen poor sales).
All in all, this thing is starting to seem like the Big Foot of video game machines. The occasional photograph, tidbit of rumor, speculation and leaked information is all we have about the game machine that may or may not be the next iteration of Sony's flagging PlayStation Portable handheld gaming line.
It's hard to keep track of all the rumors about this phone. But some of the choicest gossip (from a "trusted source" speaking to Engadget) says the phone will run on the Google Android 3.0 platform, that it will include a 5 megapixel camera and that games like "God of War," "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare," and "LittleBigPlanet" are possibly on tap, along with plans for games that incorporate augmented reality features.
If this gadget is for real, Sony will have some catching up to do when it launches. Apple has been siphoning handheld gamers away for two years now with its iPhones and iPads and an App Store crammed full of all kinds of games. Meanwhile, just last month Microsoft launched its new Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system, pretty much creating Xbox Phones for gamers.
But if this PSP phone is for real, it will offer gamers something that neither iPhones or WP7 phones have — dedicated gaming controllers built right in. And that's something many seasoned gamers miss when it comes to playing games on their phones.
Once upon a time, Nokia offered built-in game controllers with its N-Gage phones. These phones were met with a grumpy meh from the gaming world. But the phones were priced too high, the control configuration was wonky and there weren't enough games to make the package appealing.
One can guess that Sony, a company that has a whole lot more experience with gaming, has probably taken all of this into consideration. Or at least, one can hope.