updated 10:10 am EDT, Tue May 17, 2011
Xperia Play priced and dated for Verizon
Verizon on Tuesday at last committed to its launch plans for the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play. As widely rumored, the first PlayStation phone is due to reach the US on May 26 and will cost $200 on a contract. Verizon's edition will support 3G hotspot sharing for up to five devices and will see over 50 game coming through V Cast Apps; it's not clear whether this replaces or supplements the usual PlayStation Suite.
The phone shares much with other Sony Ericsson Android 2.3 phones shipping this year and has a 1GHz second-generation Snapdragon, a four-inch display, a five-megapixel rear camera, and a front VGA camera. Its slide-out gamepad is its most distinctive touch and gives users PlayStation 1-level control, including two optical analog 'sticks' and shoulder buttons.
Pre-orders should start online May 19.
We tried the phone (above) when it was first introduced in February as well as in Verizon form in March and found the controls a definite step up for mobile gaming. Our main concern is that it's not an exceptional device among Android phones and, as a single-core device, may lose out in gaming performance to phones like the Samsung Galaxy S II that have faster graphics and dual-core processors.