As far as games developers' trade association TIGA is concerned, the rumour – if true – merely confirms the increasing 'gamification' of society and the centrality of games to today's culture.

"If the rumour of a new PlayStation-branded Android phone is true, then it merely confirms that the fact that there is intense innovation in the games industry," Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA, informed us.

"There is an inherent creativity in the sector, based on intense competition between Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo and a desire to provide ever better and ever more diverse platforms and games.

"If the PlayStation-branded Android phone rumour is true then it is going to be good for developers, providing another platform to work on.

"Additionally, it would also be good for consumers, providing another way to enjoy games, a PlayStation-branded Android phone will just give them another choice.

"It confirms the increasing 'gamification' of society and would be entirely beneficial for the industry."

Convergence and connection

Rumours that Sony is developing new portable gaming hardware have been around for quite a while now, as every developer and publisher has reminded us when we've contacted them for comment on these latest round of rumours about PlayStation's plans for mobile.

Paul Croft, creative director over at games developer Mediatonic indicated that a PSP phone would be the culmination of a long-standing trend.

"It's clear that the convergence and connection of different media devices will be a key trend over the next few years so it's almost a certainty that Sony would invest heavily in this for its portable gaming initiatives.

"One of the reasons we've expanded into PSP Mini's development is because we believe it will evolve into a mobile and web platform over time and vastly increase its scope. Certainly rumours like this one point to that direction.

"It's a really exciting time with more powerful, connected devices appearing all the time which have huge gaming potential, and to have an Android device with Sony's gaming hardware experience and technological knowledge under the hood makes the prospect very, very interesting."

Viable competition for iPhone and DS?

The final word comes from UK-based games industry analysts Nick Parker, of Parker Consulting Ltd, who states: "a move to a PSP phone makes sense for Sony and I have heard similar rumours from trusted sources that this is a Sony strategy.

"I cannot comment on the tie up with Android but again, this makes sense as Google is one of the few companies in this space with a viable platform which is not considered as competition to Sony in the wider related sectors.

"I have no knowledge of publishers/developers response but another viable platform to iPhone for gaming on the move for an older (than DS) demographic would be welcome."