Posted by Mike Evans in Coming Soon on January 26, 2011

Here, at last, is the official Sony Ericsson PlayStation phone in all its glory. Expected to be called the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, the phone is a genuine PlayStation device, complete with iconic PlayStation controls that slide out from underneath the screen.

A prototype of this device has been doing the blogging rounds for some time now, but it’s now finally been dissected in full by Engadget, who’ve given it an extensive overview and shot some cracking video of the Xperia Play in action.

Let’s take a look at what they found.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Play playing a game

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play overview

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Play is an Android device featuring a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and the Adreno 205 GPU (graphics processor). Although this isn’t the top of the range in terms of phone hardware, it’s still an extremely powerful combination, and gives the Xperia Play more than enough horsepower to play the games you want to play.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Play user interface
It’s not all about games, though. The Xperia Play is still a flagship Android device, and Sony Ericsson has beefed it up with a few other neat touches as well. Some of the more headline features include:

  • Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine for a superb display (which is exactly what you want with a game designed for playing games!)
  • the Same Sony Exmor camera sensor as the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, giving outstanding photos
  • comes with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
  • the same multitouch 4″ screen as the Xperia X10
  • 512MB of RAM
  • VGA front-facing camera for video calls
  • 5 megapixel rear camera
  • PlayStation buttons built-in, including left and right buttons at the back and the slide-out PlayStation keypad

There’s also a new user interface. it’s not radically different, but Sony Ericsson has definintely learned from their experiences with the Xperia X10 and it’s created an interface that seems not only more intuitive, but much more responsive, too. In particular, the two Xperia X10 apps that made it stand out – Timescape and Mediascape – were absolute resource hogs, and they’ve now been changed significantly (Mediascape, for example, is not longer a single app but a series of individual widgets and is much less heavy on the processor).

You can see more of the interface in action in the video below:

So all in all, it’s looking like a rather competent and highly stylish Android phone.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Play showing camera
But what about the games?! That’s the one thing we’ve yet to see on this little beauty!

The games of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play

Unfortunately, we still don’t know what the games are like, as every other prototype, the one Engadget got their hands on also has no working PlayStation app on it. So we’ll have to wait until the Xperia Play is officially launched until we see exactly what a PlayStation gaming experience actually looks like.

Fortunately, rather than just leaving it there, Engadget decided to load some emulators onto the Xperia Play so we can at least get a feel for how well it can cope with the games it’ll be expected to play. the emulators in this case were an original PlayStation emulator and a GameBoy Advanced emulator.

As you can see from the video below, the Xperia Play handles both superbly well. Bare in mind as well that this is stil la prototype running an emulator (which is nowhere near as optimised for the phone’s hardware as the official PlayStatin app will be) and so the finished games should run much more smoothly.

I think you’ll agree it’s already looking extremely tasty though!

We’re expecting to see the Xperia Play officially launched at MWC 2011, and we’ll have full details for you as soon as it does.

[Source: Engadget]