Engadget has managed to get its grubby hands on a prototype of the much-rumoured PlayStation phone weeks, or even months, before Sony was ready to reveal it.

The PlayStation Phone, or PSPhone as I’ll call it, comes with Android as its OS – probably Gingerbread, although this wasn’t working very well on the prototype - a 1Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8655 CPU, half a gig of RAM, 1GB of ROM and a slide out physical ‘play area’.

Here’s where the PlayStation part comes in – the slide-out section contains eight face buttons, two shoulder buttons and a multi touch touchpad strung between.

It’s not the dual-analogue setup that most PSP owners were hoping for, but it could prove to be an interesting compromise between touch controls and physical elements.

The PSPhone is expected to be out early next year, although Sony has yet to confirm it even exists, let alone the release date.