The Xperia Play (PlayStation Phone) is no longer a secret, its been subjected to teardowns and numerous overviews.
We believe Sony Ericsson is due to unveil its gaming-centric smartphone at Mobile World Congress in February, but it almost certainly will launch without the ability to play PlayStation-compatible games.
The Xperia Play will be the first Android smartphone to ship with a dedicated gaming joypad, in every overview video we have watched, we never got the chance to see how Sony’s PlayStation experience would fit into it. After today’s announcement that Sony is to bring PlayStation content to smartphone devices, starting with Android, via its new PlayStation Suite framework, it seems pretty obvious that Sony Ericsson’s new line-up of Android smartphones would allow their users to play PlayStation games.
Therein lies the problem. The PlayStation Suite will be available within the ‘next calendar year’. Sony Ericsson’s new devices are rumoured to launch in early April. It’s very possible, but not certain, that the Xperia Play, even the Xperia Arc and Xperia “Hallon” could launch without the ability to play these games.
It’s not a big issue for customers who want to buy the Xperia Arc or the Hallon, they have smaller form-factors and are aimed at a different consumer market. But for gamers who are itching to get the Xperia Play because of its “PlayStation Phone” billing, are they as likely to purchase the smartphone knowing it would not launch with PlayStation-specific content?
The Xperia Play will hit the market with the PlayStation Pocket application, we assume that this differs somewhat from the PlayStation Suite, which is due to launch anytime within the next 11 months. This could suggest that the PlayStation Pocket application will feature Android games that are specifically tailored to take advantage of the Xperia Play’s joypad and bumper buttons, until the PlayStation Suite is made available for Android devices.
We would like to point out this speculation, we are joining together pieces of information from rumours and speculation for a device that hasn’t launched yet. We have reached out to Sony Ericsson for clarification and will update the story when we receive a reply.