It seems that not a month passes without someone claiming that they have it on good authority that Sony is releasing a Playstation phone to battle it out with bitter rival Apple (rough translation: a bloke down the pub told them so).

As far as rumours go it’s the perennial favourite, in spite of the fact that Sony’s official line on the whole thing has thus far been pretty negative, to say the least.

However, as we reported last month we’re getting what is probably the next best thing. The Sony Ericsson Aino is a smartphone that enables users to interact with their PS3 consoles and perform all sorts of jiggery-pokery.

More specifically, it allows you to control the PS3’s XMB interface, surf the internet, peruse any DRM-free media content on the console’s hard drive, sign in to the PSN to message friends and shop for digital goods in exclusive online store.

Oh, and you can switch the PS3 on and off using the phone, too - making it effectively the world’s most expensive remote control.

“Media Home and Remote Play with PlayStation 3 are key steps in broadening the entertainment experiences users can enjoy on their Sony Ericsson phone and gives a taste of our vision of the future,” spouted Sony Ericsson’s marketing business manager Alexandre Cardon just moments before firing up his shiny new Aino and listening to the latest Muse album streamed direct from his PS3’s hard drive. Maybe.

The Aino is available now on selected contracts and SIM-free.