Sunday, February 13, 2011

Xperia Play officially announced

The Xperia Play or PlayStation phone, which has become known as the industry's worst kept secret, has finally been officially announced. The device will be the first Android smartphone that will be PlayStation certified and it will launch in all relevant territories in March.

The slide out game pad reveals a digital D pad, two analogue touch pads, two shoulder buttons and the four PlayStation icons: circle, cross, square and triangle. Qualcomm’s optimized Snapdragon processor with a 1Ghz CPU and embedded Adreno GPU graphics processor deliver silky smooth 60fps play-back 3D mobile gaming and Web browsing with minimal power consumption so Xperia PLAY users can enjoy long hours of battery life and game time. (...)

XperiaTM PLAY will run on Gingerbread (version 2.3), the latest version of Google’s AndroidTM platform. The XperiaTM PLAY will also be the first PlayStation Certified device. This means it will have access to PlayStation® game content provided through the PlayStation® Suite initiative, currently under development by Sony Computer Entertainment and due to launch later this calendar year. (...)
Sony Ericsson has partnered with key publishers in the gaming industry to deliver a rich, vibrant ecosystem at launch and post launch with many leading new titles available via the AndroidTM Marketplace. Leading franchises coming to Xperia™ PLAY includes EA’s Need For Speed, Sims 3 and a world-first multiplayer version of FIFA 10 for mobile. GLU Mobile/Activision will be bringing Guitar Hero while Gameloft’s titles include Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell. Sony Ericsson is also partnering with Unity Technologies, using its award-winning development platform, to ensure a continuous flow of high quality 3D game titles.

I, for one, am quite excited about the Xperia Play and will have to manage purchasing the device alongside the 3DS now. I find myself often not having my DS on me, but wanting to play. And I personally would greatly enjoy titles from ´WipeOut´ to ´Vib Ribbon´ on the go. This is precisely the deep and immersive gaming experience I cannot currently get on any phone. I can even do without a great amount of exclusives on the system and still be excited for it.

In fact, it can be expected that the device will see ports both from older PlayStation home consoles, as well as from the PlayStation Portable. Yet that may be all the Xperia Play needs in order to be successful. Some media outlets sound quite bullish on the Xperia being superior to other current smartphones.

The company also wants to define itself as superior to Apple's iPhone, which Xperia Play is from a gamer's perspective. Assuming a similar games library and similar application pricing, what would you rather have? A 3.5-inch touchscreen? Or a 4-inch touchscreen with an alternative slide-out gamepad that employs familiar d-pad and button controls?

Meanwhile, Sony insists that the Xperia Play's high-powered sibling, the NGP, will not kill off its predecessor, the PlayStation Portable. I am slightly cynical here, remembering Nintendo's three pillar strategy of supporting their home consoles, the DS family and GameBoy handhelds.


jerry said...

The experia play sounds extremely interesting. The thing I'm most excited about is the playstation suite. Maybe sony will release a firmware update for the psp/psp go that will allow functionality? That could definitely extend the life of the psp.

Also, I've read that the playstation suite provides developers with a set of tools for game development. If that's the case, I can't wait to see what developers will create with actual controls in mind.

There are lots of games on the iphone/android that are fun but few provide deep immersion and I feel that it's the lack of actual buttons and a control stick that causes this.

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