Is Sony Ericsson Xperia Play the PlayStation phone we've been waiting for?

Is Sony Ericsson Xperia Play the PlayStation phone we've been waiting for?

A few days have passed since we first got our hands on the Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY, the first PlayStation-certified phone, and now it's time to draw some conclusions. Is the Xperia PLAY really worth the hefty price tag? Does it really boost gaming? Or is the gamepad just a cheap trick? We took a dive in quite a few virtual worlds and here's what we found:

PlayStation phone exclusive

First, we bravely dissected all... six Xperia PLAY exclusive titles only to find what you might have already expected – the gamepad really makes a huge difference here. While your selection of games is very limited, the whole experience comes close to that on an original PlayStation (save for the screen size) and is certainly worth admiration. The unobstructed screen combined with the convenience of having the time-proven PS controls might lead to a serious addiction. If more games come out, that is.

Other titles

Is Sony Ericsson Xperia Play the PlayStation phone we've been waiting for?
Android is far from being as robust in terms of gaming titles as iOS, but it still offers some excellent games. You've – of course – heard of Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja and Doodle Jump, all of which rely on touchscreen actions or the accelerometer. If this kind of gaming is all you really care about, the gamepad would seem like hefty and unnecessary bulk added to the phone as it's absolutely useless with those titles.

Some graphically taxing phone titles like Asphalt 6 (gaming demo here), though, make excellent use of the additional controls. You'll feel a noticeable improvement in your driving from the get-go, while the 4 inches of screen estate seem all the more spacious when you have your fingers out of the way. But motion sensing controls do pretty much the same job. It's titles like the Bruce Lee fighting game or Fifa 10 that truly prove the use of gamepad controls – pumping out combos on with the instant physical feedback giving you a precise idea of timing is just incomparable to anything else out there. The same goes for emulators – we gave Cadillacs and Dinosaurs a quick spin, which suddenly turned out in a full-fledged hourly gaming session. It's that addictive.

With your fingers out of the way, you can concentrate on the whole screen
With your fingers out of the way, you can concentrate on the whole screen

With your fingers out of the way, you can concentrate on the whole screen

For the rest, we were left with mixed feelings as the gamepad does make a difference for hardcore gaming, but if you only plan on spending a couple of minutes here and there to fill in the time with some Angry Birds action, you'll find no good use for it.

Actually, it all comes down to the game genre – first person shooters, sports simulators and emulators are some that fit well the idea of having the slide-out controller; other genres, like racing games, are just as fun – if not more – with their motion-sensitive controls, while the rest of the classical Android gaming roster is not even optimized for the gamepad. Finally, the Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY might not bring breath-taking silicon, nor the long list of exclusive premium titles we all expected, but what it does is put the focus on cell phone gaming and that's what really intrigues us. It's all that PlayStation stalwarts ever wanted in a phone, but for everyone else, the Xperia PLAY is mostly a promise. A rosy one, but still a promise rather than a full-baked platform.

Related phones

Xperia PLAY
  • Display 4.0" 480 x 854 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S2, Single core, 1000 MHz
  • Storage 0.4 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1500 mAh(6.41h 3G talk time)



1. josuearisty

Posts: 148; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

I think I'll pass!!

2. TreyTreyTaylor

Posts: 725; Member since: Dec 21, 2010

Honestly I wouldn't have cared if they didn't make any games exclusive for this. I have the gbc, gba, nes, snes, ps1,n64, genesis and arcade emulators on my droid x and as soon as I get this im gonna go crazy.

3. Fruit_of_the_doom unregistered

ugh.. my iphone is more playstation than xperia play.. dead space, dead rising, devil may cry,resident evil, dungeon hunter, call of duty.. you name it! all high quality games just for iphone.. o well still waiting for NGP

4. harbinger unregistered

eeww.. android user are stuck with angry birds and old emulated games

5. vision33r

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 09, 2011

Sony will sell lots of these but doubt they will sell many games. Android users are too spoiled by playing free Emu games and free cracked APKs. Nobody buys anything on Android market and even the best games released on Market and iOS the Apple one out sells the Android game anyday even though Android has a larger marketshare it is mostly cheapskates that got the free phones and want free stuff and never wants to pay for anything. Sony, you got better luck selling your games on the App store.

6. boars unregistered

hahaha what a load of tripe. Pirating iphone apps is no harder... quit drinking the kool-aid. Crazy kids.

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