Xperia Play

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Xperia Play
Xperia Play in the open position
ManufacturerSony Ericsson
SeriesSony Ericsson Xperia[1]
Compatible networksGSM (GPRS, EDGE), UMTS, UMTS, CDMA, EvDO[2]
First releasedApril 1, 2011; 13 years ago (2011-04-01)
Availability by region
  • EU: April 1, 2011
  • NA: May 26, 2011
PredecessorPSP Go (as a gaming device)
SuccessorXperia Ray
RelatedXperia S
Xperia U
Form factorSlider
Dimensions119 mm (4.7 in) H
62 mm (2.4 in) W
16 mm (0.63 in) D[2]
Mass175 g (6.2 oz)[2]
Operating systemOriginal: Android 2.3.3 "Gingerbread"
Current: Android 2.3.4 "Gingerbread"[2]
CPUGHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 MSM8255[3]
GPUAdreno 205[3]
Memory512 MB[3]
Storage400 MB[2]
Removable storagemicroSD card (up to 32 GB)
Battery1500 mAh
Display4 in (100 mm) TFT LCD touchscreen, 854 × 480 (245 ppi) [2] FWVGA, 16M colors
Rear camera5.1 MP[2] (480p with stock OS, 720p with update)
Front cameraVGA, 640 × 480; 1.3 MP[2]
Connectivitymicro-USB 2.0[3]
Data inputsTouchscreen
20× buttons
(D-pad, Triangle, Circle, Cross, Square, L, R, Select, Start, Menu (×2), Back, Home, Search, Volume ±, Power)
SARHead: 0.323 W/kg 1 g
Body: 0.473 W/kg 1 g
Hotspot: 1.400 W/kg 1 g[5]
Hearing aid compatibilityM4/T4[6]

The Xperia Play is a smartphone with elements of a handheld game console produced by Sony Ericsson. With the marketshare for dedicated handheld game consoles diminishing into the 2010s due to the rapid expansion of smartphones with cheap downloadable games, Sony attempted to tackle the issue with two separate devices; a dedicated video game console with elements of a smartphone, called the PlayStation Vita, and a smartphone with elements of a handheld console, the Xperia Play. Originally rumored to be a "PlayStation Phone", the device shed the "PlayStation" branding in favor of the Xperia brand, running on the Android operating system.

On February 13, 2011, at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2011, it was announced that the device would be shipping globally in March 2011, with a launch lineup of around 50 software titles.[7]


The device is a horizontally sliding phone with its original form resembling the Xperia X10 while the slider below resembles the slider of the PSP Go. The slider features a D-pad in an indented area on the left side, a set of standard PlayStation buttons (Triangle, Circle, Cross and Square) in an indented area on the right, a long rectangular touchpad in the middle, Start and Select buttons in an indented area on the bottom right corner, a Menu button on the bottom left corner, and two shoulder buttons (L and R) on the back of the device.[8] The form has a long rectangular touchscreen, and four buttons below, for Back, Home, Menu, and Search.[8] The device features a 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, a Qualcomm Adreno 205 GPU, a 4.0 in (100 mm) TFT LCD display with a resolution of 854 × 480 (FWVGA) capable of 16,777,216 colors, a 5.1-megapixel camera, 512 MB RAM, 400 MB internal storage and a micro-USB connector. It supports microSD cards, in contrast to the PSP consoles, which use Memory Stick variants, and the PlayStation Vita, which uses a custom, proprietary flash storage medium.[3][8][9]


The device runs on the Android 2.3 operating system,[10] with early prototypes running Android 2.2 "Froyo".[11] The device is compatible with Android software downloaded from the Google Play store, with some games featuring optimization for use with the device's additional gaming controls, including the video game streaming service OnLive.[12]

PlayStation Mobile[edit]

The device was said to feature games graphically within the range of similar portable devices[8] and plays these games via an application known as PlayStation Mobile. It changes the interface of the device from that of a phone to the XrossMediaBar, closely resembling that of the PlayStation Portable.[3][4] A dedicated section in Google Play specifically for games for the system allowing users to download games on the go is also added.[9][13] Titles shown off internally on the device include PSP games, such as God of War and LittleBigPlanet, as well as older PlayStation games; there were also plans for future games incorporating augmented reality similar to Invizimals.[9] The prices of the games were expected to be under US$10, considerably lower than the PlayStation Portable's price range of less than US$40 per game.[14]




Reports of a PlayStation smartphone have existed as early as 2006 when Sony Computer Entertainment filed a patent for a PlayStation Phone.[15] Rumors of such a device resurfaced again in 2007 when a Sony Ericsson executive announced that they were developing a device for gaming, and plans to use the XrossMediaBar in its devices.[16] In June 2007, head of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, David Reeves, denied the existence of such a device saying that he had no knowledge of such a device being developed.[17] During the 2007 Games Convention, Peter Ahnegard, an executive at Sony Ericsson, further fueled rumors of a PlayStation Phone, when asked about the device he said that "It's obviously something that we're looking at but right now I can't really comment".[18]

In the early 2008, the official Sony Magazine reported that "a new PSP-style phone is apparently in development".[19] In early 2009, it was reported that plans for a PlayStation Phone has been cancelled as Sony were unwilling to license the PlayStation brand to Sony Ericsson unless Sony would produce the handset independently. This subsequently prompted a fallout between Sony and Sony Ericsson.[20] In May 2009, rumors of such a device arose once again when then head of Sony Ericsson, Hideki Komiyama, told the Financial Times in an interview that as part of his recovery plan for Sony Ericsson, he would like to combine the PlayStation brand with their phones similar to how they had created the Walkman and Cyber-shot lines of mobile phones.[21] In June 2009, The Nikkei reported that Sony Ericsson were developing a "cellphone-game gear hybrid" as a competitor to Apple's iPhone, combining the functionality of a mobile phone and a handheld gaming device.[22]

Images surface[edit]

In early 2010, the Wall Street Journal reported that Sony was getting ready to release a smartphone able to download and play video games.[23] The first solid details about the phone came via Engadget in August 2010, reporting many leaked details about the device including that it runs Android, it is a sliding phone with a button configuration similar to the PSP Go, with some technical specifications.[9] Pictures of the device were leaked to the internet when Engadget released pictures of a prototype running Android 2.2, a PSP Go like form factor with a touch pad and microSD card support.[8] Several sites however, have questioned the legitimacy of the images of the device in question, though Engadget has rebuked these theories and shown their proven track record of leaked devices which include the iPad, 2010 MacBook Air and the Nexus One.[11] More images of the device were released by Engadget on October 29, 2010, showing the device running Android 2.2 Froyo and showing its model as "Zeus", it adds that there are several of these devices in internal testing stages with at least one device running Android 2.3 Gingerbread.[24] A video showing the device in the wild in Greece was leaked on December 1, 2010. It showed the device running Android 2.3, and reported that the device's final name would be the Sony Ericsson Z1 though this has not been confirmed by multiple sources.[25]

Two days later, more videos were leaked. They were far clearer, showing the device clearly, with a "PlayStation" icon on the phone which displays a XrossMediaBar-themed interface when selected.[26] On January 5, 2011, Engadget published more photos of what seems to be the final design for the device as it bears both the PlayStation and Xperia brands which weren't on the prototypes.[1] The day after, several other clearer photos and videos of the device was leaked revealing what seems to be its final design, specs, and its benchmark score of 59.1 frames per second.[3][4] On January 10, 2011, a video showing the device playing original PlayStation games was released. Though it is unclear whether the games were being played through official software or an emulator of the original PlayStation console.[27] On January 12, 2011, a Chinese website released pictures of what looked like the device disassembled with the parts spread out and the casing removed.[28]

Official announcement[edit]

The handset in the closed position

On February 6, 2011, Sony Ericsson created an event for the Xperia Play on their Facebook page.

In late January or early February, a shortened version of an advert made for airing during the Super Bowl was leaked on several websites. On February 6, 2011, the device was officially announced with the broadcast of the version of this ad.[29] On February 13, 2011, more details were released by Sony Ericsson.[citation needed]


The phone was initially announced as having a March 2011 release timeframe.[7] However, the final release date slipped into April 1, 2011, when the device was released in the UK,[30] Ireland[31] and Spain.[32] On April 28, 2011, it was launched in Canada, exclusively to Rogers.[33] The US launch was officially scheduled for Spring 2011, and while a time frame of mid-April was initially given,[34] the device's launch was pushed back to May 26.[35] In Indonesia, the device was launched on XL Axiatta network on July 29, 2011. On September 18, 2011, the Xperia Play 4G was released for AT&T, it features HSPA+ for faster speeds and it comes in a Stealth Blue color.[36] In the US, the Xperia Play was initially available only on the Verizon network,[7] until the release of the Xperia Play 4G on AT&T.[36] In Mexico it was available through Telcel.[37] In the UK, carriers O2, Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile and Three have confirmed that they were to stock the handset.[38] In Canada, the device was carried exclusively by Rogers Wireless.[39]

Android updates[edit]

On September 8, 2011, Sony Ericsson confirmed that the Xperia Play, and all Xperia phones released in 2011, would receive an update to Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich".[40] However, on May 25, 2012, it was stated that following beta testing and discussions with developers, the Xperia Play would not receive an update to Android 4.0, citing stability concerns.[41]

Emulation and homebrew[edit]

Since the Xperia Play runs on Android, the device may install apps for playing homebrew games. It is commonly used to run emulators for older game systems such as Atari 2600, MAME, Commodore 64, SNES, Sega Dreamcast, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Sony PlayStation Portable, and many others.[42][43]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Chris Ziegler (January 4, 2010). "Sony's PlayStation Phone finally gets Xperia, PlayStation logos". Engadget. AOL. Retrieved January 5, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Xperia Play | PlayStation certified Android mobile". Sony Ericsson. Archived from the original on August 8, 2011. Retrieved February 14, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Plunkett, Luke (January 6, 2010). "Rumor: Here Are The PlayStation Phone's Specs". Kotaku. Gawker. Retrieved January 5, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c Plunkett, Luke (January 6, 2010). "Let's See The PlayStation Phone In Action". Kotaku. Gawker. Retrieved January 5, 2011.
  5. ^ Report, FCC, 1423209[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Xperia Play by Sony Ericsson". Wireless. Verizon. Archived from the original on 2013-05-09. Retrieved 2011-12-15.
  7. ^ a b c "Live from Sony Ericsson's MWC 2011 press event!". Engadget. February 13, 2011. Retrieved February 13, 2011.
  8. ^ a b c d e Topolsky, Joshua (October 26, 2010). "The PlayStation Phone". Engadget. AOL. Retrieved October 27, 2010.
  9. ^ a b c d Topolsky, Joshua (August 11, 2010). "Exclusive: Sony Ericsson to introduce Android 3.0 gaming platform and PSP Go-like smartphone". Engadget. Retrieved August 11, 2010.
  10. ^ Lai, Richard (November 10, 2010). "Sony Ericsson's Anzu/X12 to be Xperia Gingerbread flagship? (Update: more pics!)". Engadget. AOL. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
  11. ^ a b Topolsky, Joshua (October 27, 2010). "The PlayStation Phone is still real". Engadget. AOL. Retrieved October 28, 2010.
  12. ^ Paterson, Mark (January 4, 2012). "Playing through OnLive now possible on your Android", Ready Up! Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  13. ^ Ashcraft, Brian (December 28, 2010). "Report: New PlayStation Phone Coming Next Spring". Kotaku. Gawker. Retrieved December 23, 2010.
  14. ^ Cullen, Johnny (November 25, 2010). "Rumour: PS Phone to be announced on December 9". VG247. Retrieved November 24, 2010.
  15. ^ Luke Plunkett (March 6, 2008). "Sony's 2006 PlayStation Phone Patent". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  16. ^ Brian Crecente (April 11, 2007). "Rumor: Ericsson Working on PSP Phone". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Archived from the original on May 23, 2010. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
  17. ^ Lisa Foster (June 11, 2007). "Reeves: 'No PSP phone coming'". MCV. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
  18. ^ Luke Plunkett (August 28, 2007). "More PlayStation Phone Hints, Nudges, Winks". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
  19. ^ Plunkett, Luke (February 15, 2008). "Official Sony Mag Talks PSP Phone". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  20. ^ "Sony refuses to allow Sony Ericsson the use of its PlayStation brand". Mobile Today. January 15, 2009. Archived from the original on January 18, 2009. Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  21. ^ Luke Plunkett (May 8, 2009). "Sony: A PlayStation Phone "Could Happen"". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
  22. ^ Luke Plunkett (June 27, 2009). "Nikkei: Sony To Build Gaming Phone". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
  23. ^ Daisuke Wakabayashi And Yukari Iwatani Kane (March 5, 2010). "New Sony Gadgets Take Aim at Apple". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
  24. ^ Joshua Topolsky (October 29, 2010). "The PlayStation Phone: new photos, more details!". Engadget. AOL. Retrieved October 29, 2010.
  25. ^ Vlad Savov (December 1, 2010). "PlayStation Phone espied in Greece, said to have Gingerbread and 4-inch screen (video)". Engadget. AOL. Retrieved November 29, 2010.
  26. ^ Paul Miller (December 3, 2010). "PlayStation Phone 'Zeus Z1' caught on video again, this time you can actually see it (update)". Engadget. AOL. Retrieved December 5, 2010.
  27. ^ Brian Barrett (January 10, 2011). "Watch the PlayStation Phone Actually Play Games". Gizmodo. Gawker Media. Retrieved January 9, 2011.
  28. ^ Brian Ashcraft (January 12, 2011). "The PlayStation Phone, Torn Apart". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
  29. ^ Severino, Anthony (February 5, 2011). "Xperia Play to Get Super Bowl Ad Debut". Retrieved February 5, 2011.
  30. ^ "O2 delays Xperia Play UK launch". Eurogamer. March 25, 2011. Retrieved March 30, 2011.
  31. ^ "Xperia Play lands in Ireland". TV3. April 1, 2011. Archived from the original on March 29, 2012. Retrieved April 1, 2011.
  32. ^ "Sony Ericsson Spain confirms Xperia Play for €649 on April 1st". Engadget. March 14, 2011. Retrieved March 30, 2011.
  33. ^ Chavez, Chris (2011-04-13). "Rogers Confirms April 28th Release Date for Xperia Play and Arc". Retrieved 2011-05-28.
  34. ^ "Verizon Xperia Play US release dated for mid-April". Pocket Lint. March 22, 2011. Retrieved March 30, 2011.
  35. ^ "Verizon to offer Sony Ericsson Xperia Play smartphone (US)". Wireless Federation. May 18, 2011. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
  36. ^ a b Davies, Chris (8 September 2011). "AT&T XPERIA Play 4G dated for $50 US release". Slash Gear. Retrieved 2011-10-25.
  37. ^ (in Spanish) Telcel, la Red en tus manos. Retrieved on 2013-11-24.
  38. ^ "Sony Ericsson Xperia Play confirmed for Three in UK". T3. February 8, 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-02-19. Retrieved February 16, 2011.
  39. ^ Flatley, Joseph L. (2011-02-15). "Xperia Play and Xperia Arc confirmed for Rogers in Canada (update)". Engadget. Retrieved 2011-05-28.
  40. ^ "Ice Cream Sandwich for Sony Ericsson 2011 Xperia portfolio". November 15, 2011. Archived from the original on February 10, 2012. Retrieved November 16, 2011.
  41. ^ "Update on Ice Cream Sandwich rollout for Xperia smartphones". Sony Xperia Product Blog. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
  42. ^ "The XPERIA Play gets previewed again, game emulator tested". 9 January 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
  43. ^ P., Daniel (29 March 2011). "Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY old school emulator game demo". Retrieved 21 November 2012.

External links[edit]