The long-anticipated PlayStation phone is now official. Dubbed the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play, this Android OS smartphone is going to feature a set of dedicated gaming controls. It is going to be released in the U.S. this spring.
Despite today’s unveiling, Sony Ericsson is keeping quiet about the exact specifications of this model. A press event at the Mobile World Congress tradeshow in Barcelona was heavy on superlatives and light on details,
Still, the company did reveal something that should please quite a few Americans: the XPERIA Play is going to be released by Verizon Wireless in early spring, which probably means some time in March.
And it was revealed that this smartphones is going to run Android OS 2.3 (Gingerbread). This not surprising, considering the gaming-oriented nature of this most recent version of Google’s operating system; most notably, it includes support for 3D graphics acceleration.
Games, Games, Games
While Sony has decided to forgo the use of the PlayStation branding in the name of the device, a small logo for the famed video game platform can be seen on the lower left corner of the smartphone.
In addition, it will have the standard PlayStation D-pad, and X, O, square and triangle action buttons, while a trackpad has also been included.
Sony Ericsson is promising that there will be fifty games available on the day this product launches, some of which will be PSone titles.
Naturally, a selection of top games are going to be a requirement XPERIA Play, and the company is working with twenty well-known game developers, including Electronic Arts, Namco Bandai, and Gameloft.
Not surprisingly, this smartphone is going to support Sony Ericsson’s PlayStation Suite, which will serve as both a mobile gaming platform and store by incorporating the existing PlayStation Store. This will allow users of a range of Android devices — not just ones made by Sony Ericsson — to directly download and play original PlayStation One titles.
What the Rumors Say
Although Sony Ericsson has kept mum about many of the specifications for this upcoming device, quite a bit of information on it has leaked out already.
According to unofficial sources, this gaming-oriented smartphone will have a 3.7-inch display and an 8 megapixel camera.
Changing the Mobile Gaming Landscape?
A PlayStation phone is something many gamers have been dreaming of for years, but it’s going to face some tough competition. Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch are widely used as portable game consoles, and there are many thousands of titles available for them.
Still, it’s going to catch the eye of gamers who demand physical buttons when playing — Apple’s products depend entirely on their touchscreens for controlling apps.
Grant Hatchimonji contributed to this article