If the PlayStation phone is real, why is it so ugly?

If it's real, why does it look like a homely PSP Go?

Defending its sources as "multiple" and "trusted," tech blog Engadget's gone on the defensive, claiming the PlayStation Phone is indeed real and citing a few scoops they got right. Of course they won't tell you about the ones they got wrong, but then that's how the game's played, and for all we know, they're spot-on here. Who are we to judge?

What we don't know, is any more than they do. Sony's not talking. And what's "known" still amounts to a pile of guesses based on some--shall we politely say unflattering?--snaps of a preproduction slide-screen phone (who knows how preproduction) with an ugly gray gamepad.

The sudden info-frenzy also begs the question: Do you want a PlayStation Phone? A version of Sony's platform that could shift more frequently than dedicated handheld gaming platforms do? Would you pay hundreds of dollars for one as often as you might every time Apple releases a new iPhone?

Then there's the size-to-power ratio. Everyone assumes the PSP Go's been unsuccessful because it's wildly overpriced (which it is, even at $200). But it's also notably smaller than the PSP 3000, and not really in a good way. Sure, it's cute, snuggles into your pocket, conjures "oohs" and "ahs" when you whip it out at parties. But playing older games with itty-bitty fonts can range from "a real chore" to eye-crippling. I usually reach for the PSP 3000 before the Go when I know I'll be gaming for more than a couple dozen minutes a sitting, and forget PS One games.

But okay. The (purported) PlayStation Phone probably looks fugly because it's a prototype. I mean, look at the Honda PUYO, a concept car. You want to drive around in that? And if these snaps are somehow close to final, maybe this leak (and the commensurate negative press reaction) is for the best, so Sony can go back and tweak the design.

You know, because they always listen to the press.

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Matt Peckham

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