Do Leaked Photos Confirm Sony Ericsson’s PSP Smartphone?

by Matt Klassen on October 28, 2010

If only we could believe every rumour and leaked product photo that we see on the Internet. But regardless of the validity of much of the tech and telecom speculation that routinely floats around the blogosphere, the fact is that some conjecture, no matter how unlikely or unsubstantiated, makes my ears perk up.

Whether it’s the persistent rumours of the production of a Verizon iPhone, the news that Net Neutrality may be dead (or alive, or some state in between), or the speculation that the next generation of smartphones will be high-end gaming devices, despite the fact that we have little hard evidence to go on, I simply have to write about them.

Yesterday on the popular tech and gadget site Engadget, leaked photos were released of what is apparently the much anticipated Playstation Portable (PSP) equipped smartphone currently being covertly produced by Sony Ericsson. But the question is, are the photos real? Probably not, but nevertheless the hope for a top of the line mobile gaming smartphone has never been stronger.

Two months ago I wrote on the speculation surrounding Sony Ericsson and the reports that it was in the process of developing a PSP equipped smartphone. Based on a confusing cross-genre commercial released during the summer that saw Sony pit its latest iteration of the PSP against Apple’s iPhone, the rumour was that Sony Ericsson was merely wetting the public’s appetite for a gaming phone, creating a niche in the mobile world that the PSP phone would be set to fill.

While I will admit that we’re no farther along in terms of confirming the existence of this phone, the photos released on Engadget depict what seems to be a Playstation device sporting a QWERTY-style slider gamepad.

The website assures its loyal readers that the photo is indeed the much anticipated gaming phone, but honestly it’s hard to be sure. There simply have been too many false alarms amongst the veritable deluge of tech and telecom speculation over the years, too many reports of the imminent release of the next great mobile device resulting in the scuttling and subsequent quiet disappearance of the project for me to believe what I’m seeing.

But that being said, it’s hard to argue with the popularity of this story, meaning that if there’s consumer demand for such a device, there may in fact be some substance behind the rumours.

What I did find strange, however, was Sony Ericsson’s official response to the photos. Upon the publication of the photos the company’s European division immediately claimed the photos were fakes, only to change the official response to ‘no comment’ a few short hours later. But flip flopping on an official response to fake leaked photos does not a PSP2 smartphone make, and so I’m still holding out for something substantial.

Do I think Sony Ericsson is set to unveil a PSP based smartphone? I absolutely do. Sony Ericsson is not known for its mobile pedigree, meaning that to make any headway in the cutthroat mobile market it needs to do something special, and that something is the PSP. But as for the details regarding specifications, features, release dates and all that other stuff, I’ll leave that sort of speculation up to the professionals.

Photo c/o Engadget

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