Sony Xperia Play Review/OverView

We got the Sony Xperia Play earlier this week and haven’t been able to put it down, with the six included games and the hardware keyboard, it’s a tough device to stop playing with. The Play is the first Playstation certified smartphone and does a great job of presenting itself in that way. Here’s a quick glimpse at some of the features of the Sony smartphone and DroidNerd’s opinion on the device overall:

The Hardware:

(You can see 11 of the Gaming Hardware buttons here, D-pad, Triangle, Square, Circle, X, Start, Select, and alternate menu button.)

There’s nothing but good to say about the hardware included in the Xperia Play. The phone includes 12 Hardware keys that are made strictly for gaming as well as 7 that are just for the Android OS; the 4 keys for Android are the back, Home, Menu, and search (in that order) and they are not touch sensitive, which means they might wear over time, but you can wake the phone without having to press the power button all the time.

The Power button on the device includes a built in LED that shows if the device is charging, and if it is the current charging level, or when you’re receiving a phone call. The camera included in the phone isn’t bad at all but I can’t help but feel that it could be a little better. The rear camera on the device is 5MP and records at 720p, which was the standard last year when the Samsung Captivate was released. The front facing camera is made for video chatting, of course, but unfortunately the native Google Talk application does not support it as of yet, which means you have to rely on third party applications in order to get the most out of your device for now.

(The PLAY scores 1377 in this test, topping the charts)

As far as the 1Ghz Processor and Adreno 205 GPU included in the device, they offer an incredible amount of speed and optimization for the Gingerbread as well as the gaming experience that is included stock with the device (we’ll go a little more into detail on the gaming later). Normal navigation throughout the operating system was noticed to be silky smooth and have no lag whatsoever which really surprised us coming from only having that 1Ghz processor and the 512mb of RAM. We ran a test on Quadrant (we know it’s not completely accurate, but it’s a little something to go by) and it scored a 1367 on its first try, and 1377 on the second which is pretty high on the scoreboard for the specifications of the device.

(You can see the two speaker slots on the bottom of the slide)

The Xperia comes included with the stock music application for Android and boasts some pretty powerful speakers to back it up. The speakers are located on the bottom of the slide which makes them perform best when gaming or holding the phone by the gamepad due to the way the hands grip around the slide. The screen is a nice size and is great for watching videos when combined with the clarity and volume of the speakers. It natively does not support a large amount of video formats, but is easily remedied by downloading one of the many video players on the Android Market. The photo and video viewer included with the PLAY is the same as the Galaxy S series which is a nice touch because it brings some visual appeal while you’re browsing your photos instead of just a flat wall. Here are some included pictures taken by the play to show off the 5MP camera included:

Considering this is main reason to buy this phone, is it worth it? The controls that are included with the Xperia PLAY are similar to that of the PSP but instead includes two virtual thumbsticks to create a more console-like experience. The phone has 6 games that come with it which are made for use with the gamepad: Asphalt 6, Bruce Lee, Crash Bandicoot, Madden NFL 11, Star Battalion (my personal favorite), and The Sims 3. The games offer a very similar experience to playing on a PSP, which is expected, and is great because of it. There are also 20+ games that are available for purchase over the Verizon store, and more are being added.

The virtual sticks take a little getting used to and require a little bit of pressure in order to get the full functionality from it. Of the games included, there are not any first person shooters so I did not get to test out the right thumbstick in a traditional gaming environment. Although the software that comes with the phone can use the thumbstick or the d-pad in control schemes, and in Star Battalion (and possibly the others) when you slide the gamepad up, the controls instantly become accelerometer controlled.

(As soon as you close the slide, the Accelerometer kicks in)

All of the games that we tested ran completely flawless and didn’t have any kind of lag at all, although when turning off the screen often you had to wait a little load time for the game to resume (same as when you are multitasking) but really not all too long. All-in-all the PLAY is holding up to its gaming name and I’m excited to see some more console quality games come out for it (like N.O.V.A or Modern Combat) as well as some more recreational games like Minecraft taking advantage of the hardware.

The overall experience of the phone was a great and we really had no complaints. We do wish that the phone had a little higher megapixel camera, Perhaps 8MP, and that it included a larger internal memory. It comes stock with 400MB internal, and a 8Gb SD card from Verizon which gives a good amount of space for applications and games, but leaves more to be desired when it comes to media. The phone also was a little big (roughly 4.7×2.5x.5) and quite heavy (just over 6 ounces) for a cell phone, but it is well worth the added bulk to have the hardware controls included.

The phone is available through Verizon with a two year contract for only $199.99, and must include a data package with the purchase or upgrade of your plan.

Xperia Play for Verizon Heads to Stores This Month

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Play for Verizon kicks off with pre-orders today, May 19th. It’ll become available in stores on the 26th of this month. It’s $199.99 (with a nice 2 year contract slapped on it, as expected) and comes packed with games preloaded on the device: Madden NFL 11, Asphalt 6: Adrenaline, Tetris, Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior, The Sims 3, Crash Bandicoot, and Star Battalion.

Some specs (as you probably know) include Gingerbread (2.3), a 4-inch Multitouch 854 x 480 LCD display, 512 MB of RAM, 5 mega-pixel camera and VGA front-facing camera, and a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon II processor.

NVIDIA Tegra Zone: Tegra 2 Android's Getting Playstation Games

You heard it right- Playstation games are headed to Android. Well, to be more specific, Tegra 2 Android devices. The announcement was made through NVIDIA’s Tegra Zone application, which can be downloaded directly from the Android Market. The company plans to take advantage of the steadily increasing market for mobile gaming, and intends to launch the first set of games through the Playstation Suite including titles such as Cool Boarders 2, Wild Arms and Syphon Filter. I’d say this is a pretty good time to decide whether or not you want a Tegra 2 Android or not, but the choice seems pretty simple to me.

[VIA] DroidLife

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Sony Ericsson Xperia Play Finally Emerges! [VIDEO]

The lucky folks over at Engadget managed to get their hands on the mysterious Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, otherwise known as the “Playstation Phone” revealing that even though this device lacks in some aspects of the hardware department, it still delivers a unique experience unlike any other smartphone on the market today.

As you can see from the first video above, the Xperia Play is an HSDPA smartphone featuring the Android 2.3 OS (Gingerbread) on a 4-inch multitouch 854 x 480 LCD display, which is powered by Sony’s Bravia engine, ultimately improving video playback on the device.

What exact processor underneath the hood of the Xperia Play is still not known, unfortunately. Due to the fact that the chip’s shield cage is damn-near impossible to remove, we’ll likely have to wait for Sony Ericsson to release official word on what it’s utilizing, however we do know that there’s a single-core processor inside which clocks from 122.88MHz to 1GHz. As far as the GPU on the Xperia Play, it’s the Adreno 205, coupled with 512 of RAM. The device is powered by a 1500mAh Li-Ion battery, and features a SIM slot as well as a micro-SD card slot.

There also seems to be few drawbacks on this prototype. For instance the switching of the middle two buttons, and lack of any games in the Playstation application. Of course we expect Sony Ericsson will have these minor issued fully addressed prior to the Xperia Play’s launch.

Overall I’d have to say I’m still very impressed with the Xperia Play, and definitely can’t wait to give it a test run myself. I’ve also fancied the idea of having a true gaming keypad on a sweet running Android smartphone, and Sony Ericsson is really bringing that to life here. No, it may not have the greatest hardware to compete with devices like the HTC Thunderbolt or Motorola Atrix, but for gameplay- you can’t touch this one.

[VIA] Engadget

Xperia Play (Playstation Phone) Pops Up Running… Android 2.3!

The elusive “Playstation Phone” has made an appearance yet again, only this time the images indicate that the device does in fact have “Xperia” branding and doesn’t look so much like the unrealistic device that some of us assumed at one point in time. The gamepad looks slick and resembles the Playstation controller in more ways than one, however we can’t get our hopes up that this puppy will actually run Playstation titles.

Another interesting note is that that it clearly appears to be running Android 2.3, which makes this handset that much more desirable. It’s still rumored to get the Xperia Play label, but it’s still too soon to be sure. This week should bring us much more information on the Xperia Play. Check out some more pictures below.

[VIA] Phandroid
[VIA] Unofficial Sony Ericsson Blog

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Sony Ericsson's Playstation Phone to be Titled and quot;Xperia Play and quot;?

Sony Ericsson has been rather hush-hush about the mysterious Playstation Phone, leaving us to guess what the devices name will actually be, and not to mention solid details of the specs of unit itself. An EU trademark registration indicates that the Playstation Phone could be a number of different titles, such as:

  • Xperia Play
  • Xperia Arc
  • Xperia Duo
  • Xperia Neo

While nothing is said in stone yet, it’s also worth noting that the company has also purchased the domains Hopefully we’ll hear some further details regarding the device sooner than later.

[VIA] Engadget

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Sony Playstation App Headed to Android for the Holidays

Sony has made an announcement that is sure to please Playstation fans around the globe. The new Playstation App for Android is set to release before the years end, giving all the die-hard gamers a place to brag to their friends and show off their trophies. You will also have the capability to read the latest news from Sony, if you so please. Although the initial launch of the Playstation App for Android is only set for Europe, we’re hoping that the US release is not far behind. We’ll be sure to keep you posted as soon as this app is launched!

[VIA] IntoMobile

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Tipster Reveals New Details on Sony Ericsson PlayStation Phone

The folks over at MobileCrunch received some new details regarding the mysterious PlayStation Phone by a trusted tipster, which revealed that it this device will most definitely offer us a second to none gaming experience.

The tipster notes that this device is ‘absolutely real’ and sports a mind-blowing retina display, also indicating that some of Sony’s Bravia technology has been incorporated. Wouldn’t it be sweet to run PSP games on this bad boy to make it that much more ground-breaking? Well unfortunately there still isn’t any confirmation whether or not the PSPhone will have that kind of capability, but it’s not looking promising according to MobileCrunch’s source.

We should expect game pricing to stay in the mobile realm, such as $10 rather than $40 or more. There’s still some uncertainty on the implementation of the Android Market on the PSPhone, and if games will be sold strictly through that source.

Lastly the tipster noted that the no-contract price would be around $500, and they are aiming for a February release. We’ll see how future plans of the PSPhone pan out, and hopefully get some hardware details to see what kind of performance we can really expect.

[VIA] MobileCrunch

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