The Nexus series of Android smartphones and tablets have been Google‘s flagship devices since the first Nexus One. Showcasing Android’s latest and greatest, they receive software updates before other devices (others often don’t get updates at all), and are the first to implement new features like NFC chips and Siri alternative Google Now. Each Nexus device is made in partnership with a hardware manufacturer like Asus or Samsung, and multiple different manufacturers have made Nexus gadgets throughout Android’s history.
This May, a report by Amir Efrati in the Wall Street Journal said that Google would be partnering with multiple different manufacturers at the same time for its next wave of Nexus devices. More recently, a leak reported by the Japanese-language site Android Noodles listed three different Nexus devices that were slated to be released soon, including a Sony Xperia Nexus. And with the recent release of the PlayStation Mobile marketplace on Sony Xperia phones, two of the biggest brands in tech might be about to collide.
If Nexus smartphones are “pure Android,” how could it be a PlayStation phone?
A “regular source” to the Android and Me blog says that upcoming Nexus devices will allow manufacturer customizations, so long as they’re put in a separate place and made optional.
In this case, the PlayStation Mobile store isn’t preloaded on any devices right now, the way that its precursor and other gaming features were baked into the Xperia Play (and the way carriers usually pack bloatware onto non-Nexus phones). Instead, owners of Xperia phones have to visit a Sony website to download the store. So an Xperia Nexus may be able to use PlayStation Mobile without breaking Google’s pure out-of-the-box Android experience.
What would make the Xperia Nexus a PlayStation phone?
Sony hasn’t experimented with handsets that have built-in game controllers, PSP Go style, since 2011′s Xperia Play. It’s made more “PlayStation Certified” phones since then, though, which have access to select PSOne games and now indie games made for the PlayStation Mobile program. PlayStation Mobile games that you buy on your handset can also be played on Sony‘s Vita game console, and vice-versa, tieing Sony’s Android phones together with its portable PlayStation consoles. And some of them are portable versions of classic Sony games for earlier PlayStations.
When would the “PlayStation Nexus” phone be released?
Android and Me blog says that an LG Optimus Nexus phone will be released in November, a report corroborated by Korean site NewsTomato. It says that “Sony will also join the party at some point,” according to writer Kellex’s summary on Droid-Life, but does not specify when.
Jared Spurbeck is an open-source software enthusiast, who uses an Android phone and an Ubuntu laptop PC. He has been writing about technology and electronics since 2008.