In the same way that analysts spent years saying that Apple should launch a phone, before one finally came about, the other most obvious prediction - that Sony should release a PlayStation game-oriented phone, has been going around the industry for the past four years.
A year ago, we wrote off the idea by saying that if it wasn't out by Christmas there would be no point. But word has leaked out that this is exactly what is planned, carried as a leaked certainty by Engadget along with a mock-up photo and the idea that it will be out in time for THIS Christmas.
The thrust of the idea is that the phone is being worked on to target the Android 3.0 (Gingerbread) operating system. It would be a side slider, but instead of a keyboard sliding out from under the landscape screen, a dedicated gaming controller similar to a PSP controller would slide out.
Given how many of the iPhone App Store apps are games (around 70%), it would seem that this is shutting the barn door after the horse has bolted. Apple has managed to entirely “take” the handheld gaming market with both the iPhone and the iPod Touch, both devices which were never designed as gaming platforms.
The phone is seen as coming from Sony Ericsson, rather than Sony, something which was seen as improbable after public executive statements a year ago that Sony would forge ahead with its own phone design because it could not reach agreement with its handset subsidiary.