The Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, also known as the PlayStation phone, has gone on sale across Europe and Asia today with “an additional 6 markets over the next 2 weeks”, which one would assume includes North America. Countries in the launch include the UK, Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Russia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Play features a distinctive slide-out gaming controller, complete with directional pad, shoulder buttons, and twin capacitive joysticks. A variety of high-profile Android games have been tweaked to make use of the controls, including Need for Speed, Splinter Cell, Syphon Filter, Assassin’s Creed, and Worms. The U.S. version coming to Verizon will be preloaded with Madden NFL 11, Tetris, The Sims 3, Star Battalion, Asphalt 6, and Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior, with lots more available in the Android Market. As for us up in Canada, Rogers just announced that preorders are available for $99.99 on a three-year contract. In terms of specs, the Play runs Android 2.3, has a 5 megapixel camera, 1 GHz processor with 512 MB of RAM, a sharp 4-inch 854 x 480 display, Wi-Fi, GPS, 3G, and Bluetooth. For a deeper dive, check out our hands-on videos here and here. Personally, I found the joysticks a little weird to control, but I could get used to it.
As a heavy-duty gamer, I’m pretty excited for the Xperia Play, especially if it can help Android give iPhone some competition in its most popular category of apps. Nintendo might not be a fan of smartphone gaming, but a lot of big-name publishers have thrown in their lot with the transition while still supporting traditional portable gaming consoles like the Nintendo DS and PlayStation Portable. I’m curious to see if smartphones will gradually take over from those devices as processing power increases – what do you guys think?
[via Sony Ericsson]