After years of asking, we finally have our PlayStation phone, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play. The Xperia Play comes with a 16GB memory card, which we soon populated with a few games for a quick review and a look at a few of the phone’s features. Our sister site, Mobot, did a more technical review here.
With an aim to improve sales, the price of the device has recently been slashed by almost a half to around £299 for those wishing to purchase the handset on its own. So let’s take a look from a gamer’s perspective at how the device holds up.
FIFA 10: There's a hell of a lot of content here despite it being a mobile version. Management mode, Be a Pro, skill moves, commentary and leagues from all around the world are included. The main issues come from the device itself as the d-pad feels too flat for movement and the analogue pad can only be used for dribbling. Being able to tap a player on-screen to switch to him is a neat touch though. The graphics are of a high standard for portables too.
Minecraft has launched as a timed exclusive for Xperia Play handsets, and costs $6.99. Much like its PC brethren, this first release will be in its Alpha infancy, with Mojang (who are developing the port in-house) tweaking the title as they go. The game supports local wireless multiplayer and will display most (but not all) of the construction-based features found in Notch's PC block-building behemoth.Click here for more >>
The Xperia Play, Sony Ericsson's oft-leaked "Playstation Phone," is set to launch on April 1st... but it appears that a shipping problem will adversely affect the number of units to reach UK shores. Not only that, but Vodafone have joined O2 in refusing to ship the device tomorrow. More details below.Click here for the full story >>
Gameloft are known for making some of the best mobile games of all time... by plundering the best bits from successful franchises and squeezing them down onto a handset. However, they've just announced a new Android title that will be a timed-exclusive on the Xperia Play - which seems to be as original as it gets. We were wondering when Gameloft were going to make the jump from imitation to innovation, and it seems that Backstab might be heralding the changes.More details below...
Sony Ericsson has confirmed the UK launch date for their Xperia Play handset, which was arguably the worst-kept gaming and telecommunication secret of all time. Its actual thumbsticks could make virtual thumsticks a thing of the past, and we've got the full details along with launch games and networks.Click here to read more...
Playstation Suite is set to provide a digitial distribution platform for PSOne games on Android-enabled smartphones (including the oft-leaked Xperia Play), but NVIDIA have revealed that PS2 games are also in the pipeline. However, there'll be a few processing bridges to cross first.Click here to read more...
How nice is the newly revealed white Sony Ericsson Xperia Play? So nice that O2 seem to have nabbed the PlayStation-fused phone as an exclusive. There's still time for the other carriers to pick it up, but O2 are the only ones to confirm so far.Click here read more about Sony Ericsson's winter beauty
Busy times on Planet PlayStation with the PS3 doing well, and new additions to the family coming soon in the shape of the PSP2/NGP, the Xperia Play and even rumours of a Sony tablet doing the rounds.
I've been lucky enough to have a go on the new Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, which hopes to bridge the gap between mobile phone and portable console with even more success than the iPhone juggernaut. We've wanted a PlayStation phone for years, waiting for so long, sifting through rumours and leaked documents, but to no avail. Then we pretty much forgot about it when other mobile phone handsets became real gaming platform presences.
So, is the Xperia Play too late to the party? Can you even get it anyway if you're already locked into a gazillion month contract for your current smartphone? Read on to find out if you should be interested.
First up, an update on the facts. The list of mobile carriers has now increased to support all the major networks from launch day: Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone, O2, Three and Virgin are all good to go. The phone will be released in April in the UK, a month after the US launch. Fingers crossed we don't get bumped back to allocate stock to the US.
You're looking at an estimated £40 per month contract to cover the high costs of the phone which will also be available without a contract, however the price is still unconfirmed, with rumours putting it between £420 and £540. We also hear that one of the networks is looking into the feasibility of a £30 per month contract. Some networks might throw in the new charger/alarm clock stand to sweeten the deal.
There will only be one model at launch, which will have 400MB of memory and an 8GB microSD card included in the box, although it will support cards up to 32GB. The device uses Google's Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system. The processor is the 1GHz Scorpion ARMv7.
Naturally the Xperia Play is packed with plenty of sparkly kit including a 5.1 megapixel camera with auto focus, geo tagging, touch focus and video recording. The stereo speakers will pump out tunes from either the Google or Sony Ericsson players and there's full access to the Android Marketplace for all your App needs too. The battery life varies depending on what you're doing. You'll squeeze 5.5 hours out of it with continuous gaming and 8.5 hours talk time.
Well, enough techy stuff. What about the games? We were pleased to hear that no less than seven titles will be included with the phone for free. FIFA 10 (or Madden for US buyers), The Sims 3, Tetris, Asphalt 6: Adrenaline, Bruce Lee: Dragon Warrior and Star Battalion. The mystery iconic PlayStation One title that'll be included is *drum roll*.....Crash Bandicoot. If you genuinely believed you'd be getting the 1.5GB Final Fantasy VII then feel free to slap yourself. Here's a round-up of the games I've played so far.
So the cat's out of the bag, the Playstation Phone exists, it functions, and it looks...interesting. The tech heads over on the Mobot side of the office took the tipping canoe down to Spain to check it out, as you can see in the video above, and they were pretty impressed by it.
Let's start off with the way it looks. The Xperia Play, at first glance, looks a little like a more angular PSPGo in many ways. But whilst the Go was a largely unnecessary, overpriced gadget that attempted to reanimate the leprous corpse that was the PSP, the Xperia Play represents something of a middle ground between mobile app-related gaming and a more traditional handheld console. It's a middle ground that's slowly going to become smaller and smaller as it becomes more and more crowded until the separation between the two is non-existent.
As Lewis suggested in his response to the preview, the Xperia Play might look to be a pretty nice bit of kit. It'll be sporting Android Gingerbread, come loaded with a 1GHz Snapdragon processor and have an Adreno 205 running the graphics side of things:
In terms of software support, there’ll be around 50 games available at launch, with an as-yet-unconfirmed PSOne Classic. The PlayStation Phone has the backing of 20 developers, including Electronic Arts and Gameloft. On top of PlayStation Suite, the Xperia Play will also have access to apps on the Android Market.
Games are expected to sell for €3-7, which seems entirely reasonable. But how well do they actually run? [...] Games zip along at a smooth 60 frames per second. No complaints from me after a fairly lengthy session on Asphalt 6: Adrenaline.
That's an impressive start when it comes to the mobile market, but Lewis highlights the possibility that a high price point might well alienate a casual crowd and gear the device more towards hardcore gamers. Sony have suggested to press this week that they learned their mistakes from the PS3, but they were talking about the NGP. For the Xperia Play to have any kind of success it'll need to at least match the superlative iPhone 4 if not undercut it.Click here to read the rest of Matt's article...
About time too. Sony Ericsson have finally officially revealed the most-leaked gaming secret of all time: the Xperia Play mobile handset. A new (and frankly pants) trailer made its global premier during the Superbowl last night, outing the device in all of its... obviousness. At least we can get down to gritty details now that the cat's out of the bag.
Sony simultaneously delivered an official Facebook announcement that states that we're in for a full reveal next Sunday. Naturally we'll bring you the latest. Mobot has more on the story.
With Sony's Playstation Suite already set to offer Playstation content to Android customers, the Xperia Play's potential consumer base is getting smaller by the day. Are you excited about the new Sony-branded mobile? Have your say in the comments!
EA and DICE unveiled Battlefield 3 last Friday, revealing 64-player online battles and a slew of real world locations. However, Battlefield 3 Gameplay Designer Alan Kertz has thrown down the gauntlet during a recent twitter Q&A session. In an blatant statement of intent, the DICE designer promised that BF3 will "kill" the Call Of Duty franchise simply by being a "better shooter."
You don’t kill CoD by trying to be CoD. You kill CoD by making a better shooter.
Sounds like a plan, Kertz. We're all as fed up of hearing the phrase "CoD Clone" as we are of actually seeing them on the shelves- and after Battlefiend: Bad Company 2 managed to irreversibly poach many gamers away from Call Of Duty, Battlefield 3 may well be able to finish the job.
Subsequent twitter posts served to confirm a few details that we learned on Friday, including the ability to go prone and the presence of Tehran as an in-game environment. Kertz also suggested that the weapons and field of view systems will be upgraded. [Twitter]
DICE have also released a new video of Frostbite 2.0 in action.
No one makes an arcade flight sim like Namco Bandai. The Ace Combat series continually raises the bar in terms of visual competence and control accessibility- so we've naturally been keeping a close eye on Assault Horizon.
This latest gameplay trailer rendered us into slobbery slack-jawed ecstasy, thanks mainly to improved close combat mechanics and damage models. Consider Assault Horizon upgraded from 'one to watch' into fully fledged 'where's the cheapest preorder?' territory. It's set for a simultaneous release on PS3 and Xbox 360 some time this year.