Xperia Play 2 gaming phone may be a good idea for Sony

There's a growing trend of 'gaming' phones, should Sony resurrect the Xperia Play brand?

Oh yeah, Sony should capitalize on the gaming phones trend
Nah, it can't really offer much to stand out
'Gaming phone'? An oxy-moron, if I ever heard one
With the big screens of today, and the screeching graphics performance of modern chipsets, an Xperia Play successor might finally take Sony out of its second Android tier, and catapult it into an instant hit among those who clamor for gaming phones. That is why we asked you last week whether Sony should seek to capitalize on the whole "gaming phone" trend lately. The whopping 78% of our 1695 respondents give a resounding yes, indicating that there might be one unexplored market niche for Sony to find if it looks long and heard enough.

First there was the Razer Phone, one from a legendary gaming hardware giant, then today Xiaomi's fresh new sub-brand Black Shark hit us with its first affordable gaming phone, which is just the latest in the growing trend of such niche devices. There is an apparent market for these out there, and we surely appreciate that the Black Shark is not only a great gaming device, but also the cheapest (and the sole) Snapdragon 845-equipped phone with 4000mAh battery out there, yet there was one OG gaming phone maker that should take notice.

Yes, we are talking about Sony here, which is struggling to differentiate in the sea of Android handsets. The latest Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact are mighty fine pieces, but don't really have that defining feature that would make people pick them before, say, the popular Galaxy S-line, given their pricing range. You see where we are going with this, but did you know Sony was a pioneer in this market with the Xperia Play, way back in the single-core chipset times? 

While it did have its fair share of issues with memory and performance, as can be expected from a phone in those years, it came with the famous PlayStation brand reference, and was immediately recognizable via its slide-out gamepad controller half that immediately reminded you of the PS console, not to mention the huge amount of popular gaming titles Sony has under its belt. Hey, watch us even play C&D on this phone way back when, with the screen fully available to marvel at those awesome blocky graphics! 

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. japkoslav

Posts: 1521; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

Yeah gaming phones for everyone! ... and where are decent games you want to play on such a device? ... Nowhere to be found on Android or iOS.

8. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Nevermind the games on Android, Sony users use Remote Play and enjoy PS4 games on their Xperia.

10. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

They'd obviously have to work on that, remote play that is because you can't leave the how your PS4 is in, Smartphone hardware is more than powerful enough to play vita titles now if Sony wants, plus they have that game streaming service that would pair well with smartphones, not to mention they could make the keypad controls compatible with some of the more popular mobile games, like the battle royal games that have become so popular. I'd love to own an Xperia Play type of phone who's keypad is compatible with Fortnite, I think the keypad controls being compatible with mobile titles is enough to get some attention without the other points I made.

12. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Can't leave the room your PS4 is in*** Lol that's some typo I made, how = room, smh.

11. japkoslav

Posts: 1521; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

I do not mind them because they suck. Bad control scheme (and massive input lag and image degration.

2. Valinor

Posts: 182; Member since: Mar 26, 2013

Honestly, this poll is alot of bull. I'll bet that 90% of people who voted "oh yeah sony should resurrect....." will never buy a gaming phone. Because when it gets released and they'll have to choose between an iphone/flagship android phone and the gaming phone they'll for sure choose iphone/flagship android. Reasons: - "yeah i realised i dont play that many games on my phone" - "its to thick, i want a slim smaller phone" - "the camera is not as good as the flagships" Even if it can compete with the flagship phones on every spec, then it will ofcourse be priced highed due to the extra gaming features which brings me to the next reason those people wont buy: - "its to expensive" - other reasons Basically a gaming phone means comprimises or a higher price and none of those people who voted yes are willing to make or pay for.

4. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2459; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

A lot of what you have said does indeed make sense, but this is not Samsung or Apple or even LG that we are talking about here. Sony doesn’t have the same mainstream success that those other brands have, so taking a gamble and producing a gaming phone won’t have the same downsides than if those other brands did it. If Samsung released one and it only sold 5 million devices, then it would be considered a huge flop. But if that same 5 million bought one from Sony it wouldn’t be viewed in that way because Sony doesn’t sell many phones to begin with. I think Sony can also leverage its PlayStation branding and maybe tie in services with the console as well.

3. Sparkxster

Posts: 1240; Member since: Mar 31, 2017

Gaming phone market is a relatively new niche and I think Sony or Nokia are the best choices to lead the mobile gaming phone market especially since both of them have made gaming phones in the past. Just imagine a Xperia play 2 with a custom SoC and custom gpu or a n-gage with the same!!! I think it would be in Qualcomm's best interest to start making mobile gpu's designed for gaming phones that are much more powerful than the ones that come standard on every high end phone. Either that or Nvidia or AMD entering the race and offering high end custom gpu's for gaming phones!!!

5. KingSam

Posts: 1484; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

Sony also has Ps4 remote play. Not to mention psp and ps vita games. They are the only brand that can really make it work.

9. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

If only Vita had cellular capabilities. It has the hardware but only homebrew can let you text and call. Unfortunately, that project was scrapped.

6. japkoslav

Posts: 1521; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

"new niche" So ... why even bother with anything niche? What company will fund it? Ohhh we love you gamers, here let us invest 10 million in gaming brand, that is niche and therefore won't sell as good. There is a reason why NGage was a such a failure. I had one back then. I really liked it, but the problem is still the same - there are no good games for this platform. NGage had like 5 good games - Asphalt, Puyo Puyo, Splinter Cell, Tomb Raider ... and I can't even think of the fifth one. Want good games on the go? There is GDP Win, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch etc. - "consoles", PCs made for mobile gaming with buttons, joypads, gamepads to back it up. PS: Remote play is useless in terms of lag and image quality.

7. tokuzumi

Posts: 1936; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

I remember wanting one of these so bad when it came out. But it was only available on Verizon and AT&T. I was stuck on Sprint at the time. Although, looking back, that device wasn't very well received by the buyers. Sony abandoned the device shortly after release, and it didn't live up to the hype.

13. jankernel

Posts: 6; Member since: Dec 16, 2013

My Dream PSP Phone back then

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.