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Genius? Or craziness?

Well, this is either a masterstroke or commercial suicide. Sony are, we pretty much know, about to release a PlayStation phone that will probably play old PlayStation games and maybe PSP games a new lease of life.

It was thought that the PSPhone (OK, it's called the Xperia Play) might play the games of the just-announced NGP, or PSP2. But now that the NGPs been shown off - and turned out to be an insanely powerful beast - that seems super-unlikely. The Xperia Play will basically be an Android phone that plays old PlayStation games. Still, that's a killer app, right? It's not like you can play old PlayStation games on any other Android phone, right?

Right?

Oh.

Yes, in its unpredictable wisdom, Sony has decided everyone with an Android phone should be able to play old PlayStation games. At least, everyone with a sufficiently powerful Android phone. Sony are releasing a whole additional app store for Android phones, packed with old PlayStation and (eventually, we reckon) PSP games (and who knows, presumably PS2 games once the phones become powerful enough). Any manufacturer will be able to offer the software on their phones as long as it's powerful enough to get a 'PlayStation Certified' badge.

And though it isn't a phone, the NGP will be able to run the games from this new 'PlayStation Suite.'

So basically, Sony is making an audacious bid to take over the world of phone-based gaming. But at the same time, they're risking limiting the appeal of the PlayStation Phone pretty severely. It does have proper console controls, of course, while other phones will rely on touch controls. But still, we can't tell if Sony are brilliant or daft...

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