Android is pretty buff these days. It's doing very well and probably on its way to dominate the mobile market. Not this year. Maybe not even next year. But eventually it will. However, today's news that Sony may be on the verge of releasing an Android device and merge it with its powerful (yes, second to Nintendo's DSi but well-known) PSP brand, Sony have have something on its hand to crawl back to the top of the mobile market.
So why haven't Sony done this before and why now?
Timing of course. And Android's maturity as a mobile OS is on the level, if not better, of other platforms. Furthermore, Sony is hurting pretty badly in the mobile realm without really a flagship device that has capture the hearts and imaginations of users the way Droid and Samsung's Galaxy S has. Plus, PSP, while a pretty viable platform in its own right, really hasn't lit a fire in the portable gaming market, consistently trailing incumbent, Nintendo.
But by merging the PSP brand with Android, Sony is betting that it might be the right combination to catapult it to the top. Heck, as well as Droid is doing, it hasn't come close to the numbers iPhone puts up in sales. But a PSP/Android phone might be able to achieve that level of success and even take back some gaming market-share from Apple.
Furthermore, Sony isn't likely to be content with just the games in the Marketplace. I've got a feeling that top tier games will follow. Don't be surprise if Sony and Google work together to create a little boutique place just for Sony in the store. Yeah, Google is in this to win and with Sony on its side, Google will have more arsenal against other mobile platforms.
Imagine all the riches of the PSP on the Android, even if it's just for Sony's Android device. Heck, Sony might even be interested in licensing the ability to place PSP branded games to other Android hardware makers. Imagine God of War, Final Fantasy, and SOCOM on the Android!
Right now, we don't know when we're going to be seeing this new PSP phone. However, as patient as I've been waiting for T-Mobile to introduce its HSPA+ phones, I can be persuaded to wait a bit longer if Sony's gaming partnership with Google is as good as I think it can be.
Of course, this isn't necessarily a guarantee of success. Sony is basically taking a great game. In the past, I've speculated that Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo will get their gaming platform into the phone market. It's finally happen, at least with Sony. And it is a gamble. If this doesn't work, it can really tarnish the PSP and Playstation brand.
Sony is basically going all in. I hope this gamble pays off.
More at Engadget.