About the Xperia PLAY
Ever since Sony Ericsson announced and released their range of Walkman and Cybershot branded devices, the rumours of a Playstation phone have corrupted every corner of the world wide web. Then eventually in 2011 the worlds first Playstation Certified smart phone was announced, the Xperia PLAY. Boasting an impressive list of hardware including a 4inch display, 1 GHz processor and the only smart phone in the world to have a Playstation controller hidden underneith a slide mechanism. Running on the incredibly successful Android operating system known as Gingerbread, which was the first version to be completely optimized for video games. You could play original Playstation titles as well as over 300,000 apps and games from Android Market.
The Xperia PLAY R800i, comes with a 16GB Micro SD card and 6 titles pre loaded for free. These games are; Crash Bandicoot, Fifa 10, The Sims 3, Star Battalion, Tetris & Bruce Lee Fighting.
Operating system - Android 2.3 Gingerbread (Upgrading to Ice Cream Sandwich)
System chip - Qualcomm Snapdragon with Adeno 205
Processor - Single core, 1000 MHz
RAM - 512MB (dual Channel)
Screen - 4 inch TFT FWVGA (856 x 480 pixels)
Connectivity - Micro USB
Expandable Memory - Micro SD
Memory - 400 MB
Wireless - Wi-Fi b/g/n + Bluetooth 2.1
There is a reason why we fell in love with the Xperia PLAY, it is just the best Android smart phone for gamers. Mobile gaming has exploded since iPhone came along and showed the industry what touch screen was all about. Yes I paid a compliment to Apple, so what, they changed the business for the better. But as everyone got over the excitement of Angry birds and Doodle Junp, the games started to get a little more complicated. Games that were designed for dedicated games consoles such as Nintendo, Sega or Sony were starting to get the touch treatment. Classic titles were being ported and emulated also so that we could kill time on the bus, train or even the loo with some console quality gaming.
The Xperia PLAY is a brilliant bit of hardware, it really is. The Gamepad is of a very high quality and is almost perfect to hold. You have all of the essential controls for some hard core gaming sessions actually. As well as the shoulder buttons and the usual 4 symbol keys, you have dual anologue touch pads. So to emulate the experience of a PS3 pad to it's fullest, you have potentially full 360 accuracy for shootem ups, racing and platformers. How cool?
Now when it comes to the games, Xperia PLAY kicks the hell out of any Android handset. For the simple reason, that it has all of the titles from Android Market that any other generic touch smart phone has. But on top of that, you have loads of Exclusives, perfectly optimized titles for the control pad and of course Playstation titles too. So you actually have a larger library of games. There is roughly about 200 optimized titles for the Xperia PLAY but be careful what you buy as Sony Ericsson do not seem to quality control these very well as I have seen some really bad games appear on the launcher. Rest assured that we only write about the good ones here at XperiaGamer.com.
Now I am sure there is a million different opinions out there in the world of this device, some of which could also be negative. So I will give you my honest opinion about the downsides to the PLAY as there is a few. I am writting this as a lover and heavy user of the Xperia PLAY as a smart phone and a games machine. I think the biggest mistake by Sony, is the lack of internal memory. It is the most painful experience and frankly very un friendly for new users of Android... I am constantly helping out mates I have convinced to get this phone. As you can imagine, filling up 400MB with console quality games does not take too long at all. You can move games to your Micro SD card but not all games support this function and frankly it is annoying even when you can. Then to really take the piss, the pre installed free games from Sony take up over 100MB of that and you can't delete them. The Xperia PLAY is the biggest loser when it comes to bloatware sadly.
The other criticism I hear a lot, is the lack of HDMI out. The other Xperias of it's time the arc S & neo, both came with a HDMi out function so you could connect up to your TV and PLAY games. So why not the PLAY? This would have been awesome! Well I think this one is slightly more understandable and I also think I knoe the reason why. Sony Ericsson before being taken over by Sony wholey, would have probably wanted to put the HDMI in but then Playstation stepped in and said 'NO'. Big fat NO! I mean look at all of the PSP devices, even including the new Vita. None of them have a HD out function, maybe Sony are scared that it will effect PS3 sales? That's my theory anyway. Although, there is some prototypes that exist out there that do have HDMI out on them. I doubt you will ever see one on ebay though. :D
I guess the last thing which is a negative, is the dissapointment surrounding original Playstation games availble to buy. From launch it was always promised that more and more titles were going to be made available but yet after 10 months of being on the market, we have only just broken past the 10 mark. Yes... 10! Here on this site we are following incredibly closely to the official release of the Playstation store for Certified devices which will include more and more games too. So I am starting to doubt whether we will even see the Playstation store on Xperia PLAY until summer 2012. It's a good thing that Android developers have kept the library going with some top notch titles.
So for now, I will leave you with these thoughts. As a phone, the PLAY is awesome. Very reliable and user friendly and the battery life is the best I have experience with any touch screen device on Android, Windows or even iOS. It does have it;s short comings but that does not stop you enjoying every minute of using it for everyday stuff as well as gaming. Oh, did I meantion it was the best device in the world for emulators? Well it is.
Check out our selection of Xperia PLAY optimized games that we recommend.