Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, known as the PlayStation phone, is set to hit Verizon Wireless on May 26th. It will sell for $199.99 with two-year contract. Preorders will begin on May 19 through verizonwireless.com.
The Xperia Play is the first "PlayStation certified smartphone," and will allow owners to download games for the device through both Google's Android Marketplace and Verizon's V Cast app store. Seven games will come pre-loaded on the phone in the U.S.: Madden NFL 11, Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior, Asphalt 6: Adrenaline, The Sims 3, Star Battalion, Crash Bandicoot and Tetris. More than 50 other games will be available via V Cast when the phone launches, Sony said.
Though mobile gaming is nothing new, using the touch screens on today's smartphones has presented some challenges for serious game play. Sony Ericsson hopes to make the task easier by offering physical buttons on the phone that emulate the PlayStation's controls, including four-way directional pads, a central touch pad, left and right shoulder buttons, and Select and Start keys.
The device runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and features a 4-inch multi-touch screen, 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, and VGA front-facing camera for video chat. Gaming controls include 4-way directional buttons and AB keys for smartphone navigation as well as for multi-key gaming commands.
It is powered by a Snapdragon, 1-GHz CPU and the Adreno 205 graphical processor, optimized for advanced gaming and allowing 60 frames per second play-back. It comes with 8GB of available space, which can be increased to 32GB. The Xperia Play supports Adobe Flash Player and its mobile hotspot capability can share a 3G connection with up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices.