Handheld Confusion: Sony PS Vita vs. Sony-Ericsson Xperia Play?

Sony’s original Playstation Portable (PSP) mobile game console was a thing of beauty that never quite caught the imagination of mobile gamers. The UMD-less (UMD = Universal Media Disc) PSP Go didn’t do much to attract mobile gamers either. Sony new attempt to revive the PSP line is the Playstation Vita with separate WiFi and 3G models.

Sony’s new PS Vita handheld: $249 WiFi, $299 3G, on AT&T (Geekwire.com)

The PS Vita will have a capacitive multi-touch 5-inch display with a resolution of 960×544 pixels. Like recent Nintendo models, the PS Vita will have front and rear cameras (but no 3D). It also features an accelerometer and 3-axis compass. The 3G model has a GPS too. Its rear touchpad is a novelty whose usefulness will have to be judged when it is available in production quantities.

While the PS Vita looks much like its PSP predecessors, the other Sony portable game product is a phone that is also a mobile game console: The Sony-Ericsson Xperia Play.

The Xperia Play is an Android-based phone available through Verizon Wireless in the U.S. It will be interesting to see how or if Sony and Sony-Ericsson creates any synergy between the two devices.