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Sony Ericsson launches Xperia Play, we go hands on

Blame it on the typhoon for the delay of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play’s media launch but we finally got to try one out yesterday at the official launching. The SE Xperia Play, also known as PlayStation Phone, is the answer for those wanting true handheld gaming from their phones. Touchscreen and gamepad combine to give you the best gaming experience on whatever type of game you play.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play 01

It is powered by the same 1GHz processor as that of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc and the 4-inch display won’t let your gaming feel stifled. Even though it doesn’t have the Mobile Bravia Engine display, the 480 x 854 resolution still makes the games that you play on it look sharp. Internal storage is limited to 400MB so games should definitely be installed on the included 8GB microSD card.

Enough about the phone, let’s talk about how it fares with gaming. First of all, the Xperia Play doesn’t look sleek at all, it has a curved back with a glossy finish to harvest all the fingerprints it comes in contact with. The bulk is needed when gaming though so it won’t feel fragile to play with and have the right amount of contour for a gaming grip.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play Sony Ericsson Xperia Play Sony Ericsson Xperia Play

The slide-down gamepad doesn’t feel flimsy and has a satisfying lock so you won’t have to worry sliding it back accidentally while playing. Buttons are a bit flat and don’t have the same depth as that of a PSP but you’ll get used to it quickly. There’s also the dedicated left and right touch circles that functions the same as the PSP’s analog stick. The left and right shoulder buttons have a slight indention and feels just right when pressed.

Overall, the Xperia PLAY is the ultimate gaming mobile phone that is available to us. Virtual gamepads on touchscreens just don’t fly with a lot of people so a physical one is the answer if you don’t want to get stuck playing with touch-based games. I tried it on one of the pre-installed games, Bruce Lee, and the experience was just like playing any handheld game. No problem with graphics and performance. No stuttering at while playing. I haven’t check though if you can disable phone notifications while you’re playing. Something to test when we get a review unit.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play Sony Ericsson Xperia Play

Now the problem I see with this phone is the battery life and the number of Xperia PLAY-worthy titles available. If you’re going to use this phone a lot for gaming, you might want to bring a charger with you and plug it on every chance that you get.

As for games, each purchase comes with six pre-installed games: Bruce Lee, Crash Bandicoot, FIFA 2010, Madden NFL 11, Star Battalion, and The Sims 3. There are still a lot of quality titles available in the Android Market as well as from other game publishers like Gameloft, EA and Sony. Most are not free but they should only cost you around Php130 each on average. Not unusual for Sony is their partnership with Square Enix who will be bringing Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light exclusive to Android on Xperia Play. Now where’s Final Fantasy for the Xperia Play?

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Play should be available in the market with an SRP of Php19,990 but you can get them at a lower price when you hit the stores. Aside from the above-mentioned 8GB microSD, you will also be getting a stereo portable handsfree, screen shield, car charger, and leather pouch as well as a one-year warranty.

Thanks to DaddyJoey for the photos.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play Specs:
1GHz Scorpion processor, Adreno 205 GPU, Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon
Android OS, v2.3.3 Gingerbread (2.3.4 coming real soon)
4-inch screen (480 x 854 pixels), 16 million colors
PlayStation certified game controller
5 MP, 2592Ñ…1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
720p HD video recording
VGA front camera
400 MB internal storage, 512 MB RAM, 8GB microSD included
HSDPA, HSUPA
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot
Bluetooth 2.1
Li-Ion 1500 mAh battery
175 g
SRP: Php19,990
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  • Excited na excited ako makagamit nyan. too bad hindi ko kilala PR ng SE philippines. gusto ko pa naman umattend dyan :P. anyway. the SRP is a bit okay na naman considering na parehas sila ng specs ng Arc + playstation certified pa sya.

  • Luigi Lejano

    Busting the circulating myth, this is not an actual PSP Phone. People think so but it’s really not. It’s a PSP-looking Android Phone that play Android Games and those Xperia Play-specific/ Xperia Play-optimized games in the market but it can’t (as far as I know) play/load PSP ISO games.

    It would be nice to play PSX Emulator-loaded games in this game though. Marvel VS CAPCOM FTW!!!

    • Griswold

      yeah it would be cool if there’s a really good PSP emulator in Android that can make use of the Xperia Play’s gamepad.

  • jon

    Is it already with Android OS, v2.3.4 (Gingerbread)??? bakit yung sa akin 2.3.3 pa lang.

  • ok ba graphics ng dead space and battlefield sa xperia play? Both games started in PS3 kasi.
    Sa specs, 720p is high def but the full HD is 1080p. Napansin ko lng po. ^_^

  • 21

    good thing the price is lower compared to the overpriced Nokia N9..

  • The next emulator is called Me – Boy Builder; I know, what a name.
    The premise was simple: motorcycle racing with the aid of baseball bats and chains to knock your opponents off their crotch rockets.
    This is only a preview and will be followed up by a full review
    when Think – Geek.