Got games? Got a Playstation controller built into your Android smartphone? Then you've got the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, otherwise known as the Playstation phone. The Xperia Play is a capable enough Android smartphone with a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU and Adreno 205 graphics and 3G EV-DO Rev. A on Verizon. But the real reason to get this phone is gaming. The controller makes you feel like a pro and it's so much easier to control the gaming action vs. an on-screen virtual d-pad.
The 4", 800 x 480 display is very sharp, colorful and contrast is impressive. Though it's not the brightest we've seen, it's viewable outdoors thanks to that high contrast. It's definitely an excellent display for gaming: everything is crystal clear.
It's an attractive but thick phone since the slide-out gaming controller adds significant thickness. The Xperia Play runs Android OS 2.3.2 Gingerbread with a largely unmodified UI. It has a 5 MP rear camera and a front VGA video chat camera. Among Android phones, it sills firmly in the middle-high tier, and the Playstation controller and games are definitely what sets it apart. If you're not a gamer, this phone isn't for you.
The only Playstation franchise game on the phone is Crash Bandicoot, but there are plenty of controller-aware games available. Verizon and Sony Ericsson say there are 50 titles for launch, and 6 are pre-installed on the phone (full versions). In our video review, we spend a lot of quality time gaming since that's this phone's raison d'etre. We look at Assassin's Creed, Avatar, Crash Bandicoot, Bruce Lee and Star Battalion.
Here's our Sony Ericsson Xperia Play video review. Full written review coming later this week.
-------------------- Lisa Gade Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview