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Monday, February 14, 2011

Behold, the PlayStation Phone: full Xperia PLAY specs, details released

While the iOS ecosystem may have evolved slowly into a gaming powerhouse, Sony is hoping to quickly push its gaming platform onto phones with the upcoming Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY. This the "PlayStation Phone" that has been rumored to exist for a very long time, and the details are finally here. The Xperia PLAY is coming to the United States this spring on the Verizon network first; the price remains unannounced.
Still, just look at it: a cell phone that plays games well and has actual buttons! Be still our beating hearts.

The hardware

The system features a four-inch capacitive multi-touch screen running at 480 by 854 resolution, and you'll be able to play 3D games for an estimated five and a half hours. There will be both black and white hardware at launch. Here are the rest of the specifications:
  • Size: 119 x 62 x 16 mm
  • Weight: 175 grams
  • Phone memory: 400 MB
  • Memory card support: microSD™, up to 32 GB
  • Memory card included: 8GB microSD™
  • Operating system: Google™ Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
  • Processor: 1 GHz Scorpion ARMv7
Games will be delivered through the Android Marketplace, and the system will ship with Asphalt Adrenaline 6, Bruce Lee, Star Battalion, The Sims 3, and Tetris preloaded, along with a "legendary" PlayStation title. "More than 50 additional titles from top franchises at leading game publishers will be available for purchase at launch," the announcement states.

Sony is also very excited about the buttons on the device, calling them "dedicated gaming controls for real console quality gameplay, including four-way directional keys, recognizable ABCD keys with PlayStation iconography, left/right shoulder keys, and two analog touch inputs for joystick action."

Sony is promising 60fps playback of these games with the built-in Andreno 205 GPU, and over five hours of gameplay isn't bad. This is the phone that's really going to show off what Sony's PlayStation Suite is capable of, and may even make iPhone gamers jealous of those built-in buttons.

Seriously, have we noted that we like the idea of a phone with gaming controls?

This should give the Android platform a nice push into the world of gaming, and we're looking forward to getting our hands on a handset as soon as possible. Still, the pricing on games is going to be key, as iPhone games have carved out a strong niche with touch controls and low prices. Sony needs to be realistic about the cost of these titles, even on a new device.