Review: Sony Ericsson Xperia Play
The crux of the Xperia Play is, of course, its gaming chops. How does it work? Slide the Xperia Play open to get at the gaming controls, and the Xperia Play automatically launches the game console. From the console, you can select one of the games and start playing. The device comes pre-loaded with a handful of titles, such as Asphalt6, Bruce Lee, Crash Bandicoot, Madden NFL11, Star Battalion, Tetris, and SIMs 3.
I found that all of the games - save for Tetris - were exceedingly slow to load. Star Battalion, for example, took a full minute from the time I selected it to the time it was ready to let me play. That's a bit long in my opinion. Each game has its own set of controls and functions, although you can learn by trial and error fairly quickly.
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Game play itself was great. The games played smoothly and without stuttering or crashing. I really enjoyed Asphalt6 and Crash Bandicoot. The graphics looked outstanding on the display, and the sound quality was superb. Attached to a set of real speakers, you wouldn't know that the sound was coming from a phone and not an actual gaming console.
Several of the games offer multiplayer modes. You can play others within your direct vicinity via Wi-Fi, or worldwide via 3G. For the best results, I'd recommend you stick to Wi-Fi for multiplayer gaming. Given the choppy network capabilities of the Xperia Play, I wouldn't want to rely on it for a serious session of multiplayer gaming.
There are 28 other games available for download from the Verizon/Sony gaming store. They run the gamut from first-person shooters, to racing games, Guitar Hero, Assassin's Creed, Pac-Man, and so on.
But the real question is, is the Xperia Play a better gaming handset than any other regular Android phone? That depends a lot on what type of gaming you do. If you're a casual gamer, don't care about Sony-specific titles, and the gaming control pad, then you will probably be happy with any Android phone with respect to gaming chops.
If you're more serious about gaming, are invested in Sony's catalog, then perhaps the Xperia Play's hardware is enough to make the decision an easy one. My concern is Sony's commitment to bringing new titles to the Xperia Play platform. How long will it take to ramp up more than the few dozen titles that are available? Will it get its own exclusive content? Will the titles be different enough from what's available to standard Android phones to make a difference? These are all unknown at this point.
We go hands-on with the new Xperia Play from Sony Ericsson, the Android / PlayStation gaming phone coming soon to Verizon Wireless. Does it live up to the hype of a Super Bowl ad?
We're live from the Sony Ericsson press conference at MWC, where they've promised to spill full details on the Xperia Play Android gaming phone.
May 1, 2012
Verizon Wireless is offering a system update to the Sony Xperia Play gaming Android smartphone. The update adds continuous auto-focus when shooting 720p HD video, improves the user experience when loading games, and lets owners use the right trigger button as a camera/shutter control.
Mar 30, 2012
Sony today indicated via its web site that it will push the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update to the Xperia arc S, neo V, and ray starting in mid-April. The update will be distributed over the course of four to six weeks.
Mar 28, 2012
A company called Graphics Properties Holdings recently filed a lawsuit against Apple, HTC, LG, RIM, Samsung, and Sony, alleging that the companies' products violate its intellectual property. Specifically, the lawsuit covers a patent pertaining to how mobile devices process data and text into pixels on a display.