Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Play has been the subject of much speculation in the past year or so. Some thought it may replace the PSP entirely, whilst others doubted its existence at all. As it turns out, the PSP lives on and the phone does indeed exist, in fact it’s been officially announced at Mobile World Congress this week, so let’s take a closer look at it!
The phone / console runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread, the same operating system which runs on the new Samsung Nexus S phone, and is powered by Qualcomm’s 1GHz Snapdragon CPU. The graphics are powered by Qualcomm’s Adreno 205 chip and will power a host of games which will be available to Android users for the first time on a mobile device.
All this will be viewed on a 4-inch display, with a resolution of 854 x 480, which is certainly acceptable for a screen of this size although it isn’t exactly Retina level, which would have been nice to have when playing all those gaming titles on the device. I guess Sony has to save something for the Play 2, though, so keep your eyes out for that in the potential future! Around back, you will also find a 5.1 megapixel camera with a flash and auto focus, but of course that isn’t what we’re really interested in here.
As this is a semi-gaming device as well as a phone, there are a few extra tweaks that you aren’t going to find on any other phone in the market. Needless to say, I’m taking about the dedicated gaming buttons that have made their way over from the PSP to the smartphone world. Simply hold the phone in landscape mode, slide out the screen, and you’ve got a built in D-Pad, four action buttons, the classic ‘Start’ and ‘Select’ buttons, and an additional menu button.
Travis Boatman, VP of Worldwide Studios for EA Mobile, said that “EA collaborated closely with Sony Ericsson to bring exciting versions our best-selling consumer favourites such as The Sims™ 3 and EA SPORTS™ FIFA 10 to the Xperia PLAY. The device’s dedicated gaming keypad gives FIFA players what matters most in a footy game — ultimate ball control, quick player selection on the pitch, effortless passes and more. The Xperia PLAYS’s unique gamepad also delivers robust control in The Sims 3 bringing a whole new life simulation experience to fans of the franchise. We look forward to watching consumers interact with our great games in new ways through the Xperia PLAY.”
The Xperia Play certainly doesn’t show a lack of ambition. Sony has really pushed out the boat here in an attempt to truly bring a great gaming experience to the smartphone industry, one that can excel further than the titles available on the iPhone or any other mobile platform in the world right now.
I for one cannot wait to get hold of an Xperia Play to check out the unit up close and personal for myself, and have no doubt that it will be a success for Sony, and for Google, who will undoubtedly see a huge boost in the games section of the Android Market as a result of the Play’s launch.
Are you planning on getting a Sony Ericsson Xperia Play when it’s released in March? Can it outperform existing platforms such as the iPhone when it comes to the quality and quantity of titles? Let us know what you think in the comments, and keep an eye out for any other news on availability and detailed pricing when we hear about it.