It’s thought Sony may be planning to launch a new Xperia Play smartphone, this time with two sliding keypads, after the company is granted a patent for such a device.
The USPTO has just given Sony a patent for a handset with dual sliding mechanisms and a touchscreen display. The two sliding keypads are a QWERTY keyboard and a gamepad – leading us to think a successor to last year’s Xperia Play is in the pipeline.
Sony filed for the patent back in 2010, and this timing could be perfect for the Xperia Play 2 model. After all, it makes sense that Sony would want to update and make improvements to its original PlayStation Phone.
The way the design would work is both keypads slide out together, so when you slide one out the other follows with the keyboard being the default setting. When both are open, you can then separate the units, putting one away and leaving the other.
If gaming and a physical keypad are two must-have features of a smartphone, then this new Xperia Play could be one to watch. Although the dual sliding mechanism will undoubtedly add a bit of depth to the handset, if it’s smooth we reckon it could definitely work.
The first PlayStation Phone was launched last year and has a slide-out PlayStation control together with pre-loaded PlayStation games. The control pad mimics as closely as possible the real thing, with a D-pad, the square, circle, triangle and cross keys, and touchpads to make mobile gaming all the more enjoyable. Ice Cream Sandwich goodness is set to hit the Play model at some point next month too.
Would you buy an Xperia Play smartphone with two sliding keypads? Let us know your thoughts on the patent news, and we’ll keep you posted on all Sony-related developments.