Yesterday, technology site Engadget showed what can only count as a massive coup: pictures of a Sony Ericsson developed Android 3.0 (Gingerbread) phone that is being dubbed the Playstation Phone. The phone would resemble a PSPgo, in that it has buttons for gameplay sliding out from the touchscreen, a long analogue pad where the start and select buttons on a PSPgo would be for analogue control, and support for microSD cards (though no support for the proprietary PSP Memory Stick, though that’s something Media Go can take care of for transferring to a microSD card). The device is currently running Android 2.X, but will likely ship with Gingerbread. Technically speaking, the device is reported as having a 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8655 CPU, 512MB of RAM, 1GB of ROM (for firmware and the OS), and around a 4″ multitouch screen. To compare, the PSP has a 333GHz MIPS R4000 CPU, and 32MB (PSP-1000) to 64MB (PSP-2000 + 3000) of RAM, so this phone is pretty beefy compared to the PSP. The model is reportedly in prototype still, and is buggy. Therefore, the images at Engadget aren’t final.
Sony’s response has been inconsistent. At first, a Sony Computer Entertainment Europe spokesman said that the images were “definitely fake”. Later, the company put out a definitive “no comment”, stating their policy of not commenting on rumours and speculation. In response, Engadget stood by its story.
We’re not saying that because we want to believe or because we’re gingerly trying to nab pageviews: we’re saying it because we know it to be true. This is a device which has been confirmed through multiple, trusted sources. And we’re not just talking good tipsters — some of our information comes from people much more closely connected to the project.
We have a stand-off. On one side, Sony backtracked on a “definitely fake” report to issue a corporate-mandated non-statement. On the other, we have a reputable technological blog standing by its story, and putting its reputation, and the reputation of its sources, on the line. I’m not someone that likes to say something is “definitely” coming until I’m either given a solid, playable model or at least a press release. However, if I were told to choose one or the other, I would trust Engadget with this until told otherwise. Engadget has a history of breaking big stories like this, and has a very good hit/miss ratio, and while it’s possible that Sony takes a page out of Apple’s playbook and intentionally changes design elements and/or begins to disseminate misinformation in order to discredit Engadget and their sources, I have to conclude that there’s fire to this smoke.