Sony Ericsson Xperia Play Officialized at MWC. Available in March 2011, on Verizon Early Spring

We’ve heard about the Playstation Phone, also officially known as the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, for months now. We all got creeped out by the Super Bowl commercial. We’ve seen the leaked photos and specs, and after all this time, Sony Ericsson is now officially talking it up on stage at the press conference at MWC 2011.

There really aren’t too many surprises, but it’s great to see it and talk about this gaming powerhouse nonetheless.First off, it will begin shipping in March, and Sony Ericsson mentioned in the conference that the US will be one of the first markets to receive the Play, with Verizon Wireless getting it first sometime in early Spring.

See below for all the details.

The Xperia Play is the very first Android device to be affiliated with Sony’s Playstation Suite. Here’s what we have learned officially:

  • 1 GHz Scorpion ARM v7 CPU and embedded Adreno GPU with 60 fps playback 3D mobile gaming and minimal power consumption
  • 4-inch display with 480 x 854 resolution
  • 5 MP rear camera with a front facing camera
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 8 GB microSD in box, supports up to 32 GB, 400 MB internal memory
  • Horizontal slider with buttons similar to the PSP setup
  • The first Playstation Certified device – access to Playstation game content
  • Android Cloud to Device messaging (C2DM)
  • Weighs 175 g (6.17 ounces)
  • Talk time on 3G: 6 hours 25 minutes

Here’s the entire press release, and it’s a long one!

  • XperiaTM PLAY combines a PlayStation-quality gaming experience with the very latest Android smartphone technology.
  • Super fast graphics and dedicated game controls deliver the ultimate smartphone gaming experience from March 2011
  • Sony Computer Entertainment and leading game publishers provide top titles from launch –available to download from the AndroidTM Market.

February 13, 2011, Barcelona, Spain – Sony Ericsson today announced the game changing XperiaTM PLAY, the latest phone in its XperiaTM range of Android based smartphones.

XperiaTM PLAY delivers the smartphone functionality that the most serious power users could need, teamed with the immersive gaming experience that any gamer would want.

In portrait mode, the Android smartphone offers all the benefits that users have come to expect from Sony Ericsson’s existing range of XperiaTM smartphones with best-in-class entertainment experiences, a great 5 megapixel camera, a brilliant 4” multi-touch screen and great social networking features.

However, slide out the gaming control and users enter a new world of immersive mobile gaming. The slide out game pad reveals a digital D pad, two analogue touch pads, two shoulder buttons and the four PlayStation icons: circle, cross, square and triangle. Qualcomm’s optimized Snapdragon processor with a 1Ghz CPU and embedded Adreno GPU graphics processor deliver silky smooth 60fps play-back 3D mobile gaming and Web browsing with minimal power consumption so Xperia PLAY users can enjoy long hours of battery life and game time.

Rikko Sakaguchi, Executive Vice President and Chief Creation Officer at Sony Ericsson commented: “Today is a very proud moment for Sony Ericsson as we bring something truly revolutionary to the market. Living up to our vision of Communication Entertainment, Xperia PLAY will forever change the way people think about smartphones and mobile gaming.

XperiaTM PLAY will run on Gingerbread (version 2.3), the latest version of Google’s AndroidTM platform. The XperiaTM PLAY will also be the first PlayStation Certified device. This means it will have access to PlayStation® game content provided through the PlayStation® Suite initiative, currently under development by Sony Computer Entertainment and due to launch later this calendar year.

Kazuo Hirai, President of Networked Products and Services Group at Sony Corporation said: “I am delighted to see Xperia PLAY as the first PlayStation Certified smartphone to hit the market. Xperia PLAY provides a unique consumer offering and is yet another example of great products and services coming to market that leverage Sony’s strong assets.”

Sony Ericsson has partnered with key publishers in the gaming industry to deliver a rich, vibrant ecosystem at launch and post launch with many leading new titles available via the AndroidTM Marketplace. Leading franchises coming to Xperia™ PLAY includes EA’s Need For Speed, Sims 3 and a world-first multiplayer version of FIFA 10 for mobile. GLU Mobile/Activision will be bringing Guitar Hero while Gameloft’s titles include Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell. Sony Ericsson is also partnering with Unity Technologies, using its award-winning development platform, to ensure a continuous flow of high quality 3D game titles.

Mr Sakaguchi continued: “The launch of Xperia PLAY could not have been possible without the close collaboration of both Google and Sony Computer Entertainment. The commitment of so many industry leading game publishers further demonstrates that Xperia PLAY will deliver on the long-held expectations from consumers the world over.”

XperiaTM PLAY and PlayStation Certified gaming are great examples of the kind of innovation that’s possible in the open Android ecosystem,” said Andy Rubin, Vice President of Engineering at Google.

A pre-loaded application will enable users to easily discover and download titles that have been optimised for game play on Xperia PLAY, access recently played games and see information about the games they have downloaded.

Sony Ericsson Xperia™ PLAY will be available globally in selected markets from March 2011

What do our content partners say?

Electronic Arts, Travis Boatman, VP of Worldwide Studios for EA Mobile:
“EA collaborated closely with Sony Ericsson to bring exciting versions our best-selling consumer favourites such as The Sims™ 3 and EA SPORTS™ FIFA 10 to the Xperia PLAY. The device’s dedicated gaming keypad gives FIFA players what matters most in a footy game — ultimate ball control, quick player selection on the pitch, effortless passes and more. The Xperia PLAYS’s unique gamepad also delivers robust control in
The Sims 3 bringing a whole new life simulation experience to fans of thefranchise. We look forward to watching consumers interact with our great games in new ways through the Xperia PLAY.”

Gameloft, Michel Guillemot, President:
“We are pleased to partner with Sony Ericsson to offer a catalogue of 10 of our best-selling games at launch of the Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY,” said Michel Guillemot, President of Gameloft. “My vision since the creation of Gameloft was to turn video games into a true mass market form of entertainment. This vision is realized with the launch of Xperia PLAY, which combines a perfect smartphone for daily use as well as a real game controller to provide the best gaming experience ever seen on a mobile phone. Gameloft will support the launch with more than 20 titles over the next 6 months that will take full advantage of the power of this device.”

Glu Mobile, Niccolo de Masi, CEO:
“Glu’s strategic relationship with Sony Ericsson aligns us with a leading innovator in mobile and gaming. We look forward to accelerating our momentum in social mobile gaming with compelling offerings on Sony Ericsson’s newest mobile devices.”

Content partners at launch include:
Sony Computer Entertainment
Digital Chocolate
Digital Legends
Electronic Arts
Fishlabs
Gamehouse
Gameloft
Glu Mobile
Handy Games
Namco Bandai Networks
Polarbit
PopCap
Trendy Entertainment
Unity Tecnologies

For further information, images and videos visit www.sonyericsson.com/mwcnews

Xperia™ PLAY at a glance:

Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY

Camera

  • 5.1 megapixel camera
  • Auto focus
  • Flash / Photo light
  • Geo tagging
  • Image stabiliser
  • Send to web
  • Touch focus
  • Video light
  • Video recording
  • Video blogging

Music

  • Album art
  • Bluetooth™ stereo (A2DP)
  • Google™ Music Player
  • Music tones (MP3/AAC)
  • PlayNow™ service*
  • Sony Ericsson Music player
  • Stereo speakers
  • TrackID™ music recognition application

Internet

  • Android Market™*
  • Bookmarks
  • Google™ search*
  • Google™ Voice Search*
  • Pan & zoom
  • Web browser (Webkit)

Communication

  • Call list
  • Conference calls
  • Facebook™ application (from Android Market™)
  • Google™ Talk*
  • Noise Shield
  • Polyphonic ringtones
  • Speakerphone
  • Sony Ericsson Timescape™***
  • Twitter™ application (from Android Market™)
  • Vibrating alert

Messaging

  • Android Cloud to Device messaging (C2DM)
  • Conversations
  • Email
  • Google Mail™*
  • Instant messaging
  • Picture messaging (MMS)
  • Predictive text input
  • Sound recorder
  • Text messaging (SMS)

Design

  • Auto rotate
  • Keyboard (onscreen, 12 key)
  • Keyboard (onscreen, QWERTY)
  • Picture wallpaper
  • Touchscreen
  • Wallpaper animation

Entertainment

  • 3D games
  • Dedicated gaming keys
  • Flash Lite™
  • Gesture gaming
  • Motion gaming
  • Video streaming
  • YouTube™

Organiser

  • Alarm clock
  • Calculator
  • Calendar
  • Document editors
  • Document readers
  • E-Manual
  • Flight mode
  • Google Calendar™
  • Google Gallery 3D™
  • Infinite button
  • Phone book
  • Set-up Wizard
  • Widget manager

Connectivity

  • 3.5 mm audio jack
  • aGPS
  • Bluetooth™ technology
  • DLNA Certified
  • Google Latitude™
  • Google Location Service
  • Google Maps™ with Street View
  • Media Transfer Protocol support
  • Micro USB Connector
  • Modem
  • Synchronisation via Facebook™**
  • Synchronisation via Google Sync™
  • Synchronisation via Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync®
  • Synchronisation via Sony Ericsson Sync
  • USB 2.0 high speed support
  • Wi-Fi™
  • Wi-Fi™ Hotspot functionality
  • The service is not available in all markets.
  • ** Requires Facebook™ application installed on the device.

Google™ services*

* These services may not be available in every market

  • Android Market™ Client
  • Gmail™
  • Google Calendar™
  • Google Gallery 3D™
  • Google Latitude™
  • Google Maps™ with Street View
  • Google Media Uploader
  • Google Music Player™
  • Google Phone-top Search
  • Google Search widget
  • Google Sync™
  • Google Talk™
  • Google Voice Search
  • Set-up Wizard
  • YouTube™

Screen

  • 16,777,216 colour TFT
  • Capacitive multi-touch
  • 4 inches
  • 480 x 854 pixels (FWVGA)

Accessories

  • In-Box:
  • Xperia™ PLAY
  • Battery
  • Stereo portable handsfree
  • 8GB microSD™ memory card
  • Charger
  • Micro USB cable for charging, synchronisation and file transfer
  • User documentation

Facts

  • Size: 119 x 62 x 16 mm
  • Weight: 175 grams
  • Phone memory: 400 MB
  • Memory card support: microSD™, up to 32 GB
  • Memory card included: 8GB microSD™
  • Operating system: Google™ Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
  • Processor: 1 GHz Scorpion ARMv7

Talk time and networks

  • Networks
  • Talk time GSM/GPRS: Up to 8 hrs 25 min*
  • Standby time GSM/GPRS: Up to 425 hrs*
  • Talk time UMTS: Up to 6 hrs 25 min*
  • Standby time UMTS: Up to 413 hrs*
  • Talk time CDMA2000®: Up to 7 hrs 40 min*
  • Standby time CDMA2000®: Up to 405 hrs*
  • Game play time: Up to 5 hrs 35 min*
  • MP3 playback: Up to 30 hrs 35 min*
  • Networks
  • UMTS HSPA 800, 850, 1900, 2100
  • GSM GPRS/EDGE 850, 900, 1800, 1900
  • UMTS HSPA 900, 2100
  • GSM GPRS/EDGE 850, 900, 1800, 1900
  • CDMA2000®, cdmaOne, EVDO

Colour

  • Black
  • White

Legal
1) Facts and features may vary depending on local variant. 2) Operational times are affected by network
preferences, type of SIM card, connected accessories and various activities e.g. playing games. Kit contents and colour options may differ from market to market. The full range of accessories may not be available in every market.

Author: Brad Molen

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