Finally, Sony Ericsson has formally announced that Xperia Play aka PlayStation phone will be released worldwide in March 2011. The announcement was made in Barcelona before the opening of Mobile World Congress after months of rumors, speculation and leaked images.
Xperia Play which is more commonly known as the PlayStation phone is the first attempt by a major manufacturer to combine cellphones and full gaming capabilities in the same product since Nokia’s ill-fated N-Gage in 2003.
Sony Ericsson Chief Executive Bert Nordberg said:
“Xperia Play will be much better than Nokia’s old N-Gage. Since N-Gage was launched, technology has improved a lot and that will make gaming much more fun. For example, chipsets and graphics are much better now.”
Upon its release, Xperia Play will be running Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system and it is also being reported that the US would be one of the first markets to receive the device in early Spring, through an exclusive partnership with mobile network Verizon.
According to the company, the device will be capable of running HD games at 60 fps and around 50 games, many of them classics from the PlayStation One, will be ready at launch. Players will be able to buy them through a virtual PlayStation store which will be accessed via the Android Marketplace. Although PlayStation Store, will not launch until the end of the year.
Sony has announced that game studios such as Electronic Arts, Namco Bandai, Glu Mobile, PopCap, and Gameloft will be supported in terms of software which means classic titles such as Guitar Hero, Battlefield and Dead Space franchises will quickly find their way onto the handheld.
Further, Unity (which provides development tools to many web-based and mobile development studios) has pledged full support for the Xperia Play, meaning some 350,000 developers will be able to start transferring their 3D games to the device.
The PSPhone will come with six games pre-installed and in both black and white colors.