At their big press conference at the Mobile World Congress currently taking place in Barcelona, Sony Ericsson have officially detailed the ‘PlayStation Certified’ Xperia Play phone for the first time, following its announcement during last weekend’s Superbowl.
Describing the device as “the perfect combination of communication and entertainment”, the company confirmed most of what we already expected from the non-stop train of rumours over the past couple of years. The Xperia Play runs Android 2.3 (or Gingerbread), has dual ‘touch pads’ (which are basically virtualised analog sticks), and will start shipping in March (in the US at least, on Verizon).
Whilst it was confirmed that the Xperia Play will launch with a “legendary” PSone Classic on board, details about the Store and Suite’s arrival were a little sketchy, with the only window given a vague “later this year”. What is also unclear is whether the Play will run all previously-released Classics, or if they will have to be repackaged for the phone, and thus trickle out over time. In addition, there were mumblings of games being “enhanced” for playing on the Xperia – this could mean existing PSP content, or existing mobile phone games – and “exclusive” pre-loaded titles, which sounds like they might not be available to other Suite devices like the NGP. We’ll contact SE for confirmation on some of these loose ends.
What we do know is that big mobile studios like EA, Gameloft and Glu (as well as Digital Chocolate, Digital Legends, Fish Labs and Trendy, all of whom were mentioned in the presentation) are on board for the new console, with Dungeon Defenders, Reckless Racing, Assassin’s Creed, Dead Space and – brilliantly – Guitar Hero all confirmed to make an appearance. Expect more details on the UK and European launches over the next few weeks.