Sony Ericsson Xperia Play - It's Playtime!

Launch SRP: S$888


The Gingerbread Game

In an earlier episode of ZoneOut, we've shared our views on the top five features of the Xperia Play. To refresh your memory, here's a quick recap:

Sony Ericsson has been very clear about putting Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) as its biggest focus. The Xperia Play is no exception to that rule, running the same operating system (OS) as the Xperia Arc. If you've read our earlier Xperia Arc review, you might have learned of the changes that came with this updated mobile OS. From Google, you will now have Adobe Flash 10.2 support on the Xperia Play, plus a few updates to apps management and wireless hotspots added into the equation.

Updates such as Adobe Flash 10.2 support and wireless tethering are present on the Xperia Play.

Sony Ericsson has also tossed in some incremental changes to its customized user interface. Dubbed as the Sony Ericsson UX interface, we spotted livelier animations when we tweaked around with its home screen. More widgets are now available, and the four anchored shortcuts at the bottom can also be turned into folders housing multiple apps at a go. Timescape, which made its debut on the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, returns on the Xperia Play with minimal changes to its layout and usability.

A quick pinch on the home screen lets you glance at all the widgets and apps parked on the five pages.

The four shortcut icons can function as a single app, or a folder to be loaded with multiple similar apps.

As a PlayStation-certified device, the Xperia Play is more than just an Android smartphone with PlayStation controls. Within the menu, you'll find the preloaded Xperia Play Launcher. This app is essentially a collection of Android games that are optimized for the Xperia Play. These featured games are mostly found on the Android Market, and differ from its usual counterparts due to its customization for the Xperia Play controls.

Certain games such as Asphalt 6 HD (which is free for the Xperia Play) and Spider-Man: Total Mayhem HD are found beyond the Android Market, redirecting you to the Gameloft website where you can purchase and download them.

The preloaded Xperia Play launcher consolidates the Android games that have been optimized for the Xperia Play controls.

Other than the optimized Android games, the Xperia Play will also get specific PlayStation One classic games. One of which is Crash Bandicoot, which will be available right off the bat on the Xperia Play. Similar to the Xperia Play launcher, these PlayStation One games are aggregated into another app, known as PlayStation Pocket. As of now, the content is pretty limited. A quick check on other Android devices confirms that the games are exclusive to the Xperia Play, even though it's located with the Android Market.

Another app, known as PlayStation Pocket, houses classic PlayStation One games, with Crash Bandicoot being preloaded and more titles available via the app.

According to Sony Ericsson, the combined titles from the Android and PlayStation classics number more than 50. This number will definitely increase over the months. Furthermore, by the end of the year, when the PlayStation Suite initiative goes into full gear, more PlayStation games will be ready for Android devices such as the Xperia Play. In the meantime, we've had a go at a few games that have been optimized for the Xperia Play controls, so do take a few minutes to hear what we have to say on this matter:

The Good
Dedicated gaming controls
Smooth gaming experience
Game content from Android and Sony
The Bad
Bulky frame, heavy weight
Unresponsive analog touch pads
Constant gaming equates power drain

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