By now, it's safe to call the long-rumored PlayStation Phone one of the worst-kept secrets in the history of the tech/gaming world. Engadget posted photos of the Android-powered device three months ago, and since then, we've seen video of the phone to further confirm its existence. It's reportedly called the "Xperia Play," and Engadget has now published a comprehensive preview based on a prototype that has been "floating around in China."
The Xperia Play is equipped with a 4-inch, 854×480-pixel LCD screen, and under the hood, it contains a 1 GHz processor and 512 MB of RAM. Pushing the screen upwards from a horizontal position reveals the PlayStation D-pad and face buttons; Start, Select, and Menu buttons; and that strange oval touchpad (without any native games to try, Engadget was unable to test the functionality of the pad). According to Engadget, the device is "less well balanced than the bottom-heavy" PSPgo, although its build is reportedly of higher quality than Sony's UMD-free handheld.
Engadget also noticed the same PlayStation Pocket app that we've seen before; it looks like a library to hold your digital games. As for actually playing games on the prototype, they downloaded a PlayStation emulator and a Game Boy Advance emulator, and as you can see in the video above, they loaded up four games -- Ridge Racer Revolution (PS1), Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 (PS1), Gundam Battle Assault 2 (PS1), and Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 (GBA) -- all of which ran pretty well. Real buttons instead of virtual touch-screen "buttons" sure are nice for gaming, aren't they?
Sony is expected to officially unveil the Xperia Play next month. Are you interested yet? If you are, check out the full in-depth preview over at Engadget.
Exclusive: Sony Ericsson Xperia Play (PlayStation Phone) preview [Engadget -- thanks, Nyktharas!]