The long-awaited Sony Ericsson Xperia Play — or “PlayStation Phone” as it’s been popularly dubbed — will finally be available starting May 26 for $199.99 from Verizon Wireless (with two-year service agreement). Pre-orders for the PlayStation certified smartphone began yesterday.
The Play features a 4-inch 854 x 480 multi-touch display, 5 megapixel camera on the back (plus front-facing VGA camera for video chats), and runs on a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon II processor with 512MB of RAM. The system is based on Android 2.3 “Gingerbread” with some Sony Ericsson customizations. The specs also list support for Google Mobile Services, including Google Maps, Gmail, Google Talk and access to 200,000 apps in the Android Market. The phone will come preloaded with seven games, including: Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior (check out the video demo), Madden NFL 11, Asphalt 6: Adrenaline, Star Battalion, The Sims 3, Crash Bandicoot and Tetris.
The Play device features a sliding screen that reveals touch-sensitive directional pads, a dual analog touch joystick and shoulder buttons for playing games. Verizon says more than 50 games will be available at launch time from the V CAST app store.
Related Los Angeles Times article (including Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior video demo): “Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, a.k.a. the PlayStation Phone, hits Verizon on May 26” (5/17/11)
Related IntoMobile review (including 11-minute video demo): “Hands-On: Sony Ericsson Xperia Play” (5/20/11)
Related Sony Ericsson press release: “Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY to be the official mobile handset of Major League Gaming” (3/1/11)
Related In-Game article: “Sony’s PlayStation phone is for real” (1/26/11)
Nick Nero provides some interesting perspective in this month’s Connected World Magazine regarding which smartphone OS will become the dominant global platform by the end of the year. The short answer according to Nick: Google’s Android.
The article provides an interesting overview regarding the progression of RIM’s BlackBerry, Apple’s iPhone, Windows Mobile devices — and the growing worldwide adoption of Android devices. It further points out that Android will continue its dominance throughout 2011 based on several key factors: Open Software Architecture (“arguably Android’s biggest competitive advantage”), Open Marketplace (consumers recognize “the benefit of a free-market approach to smartphone apps and this will continue to push Android to the head of the pack”), and More Partners (Android “is available on devices from practically every carrier in the country”).
Nick offers these final thoughts: “By the end of this year I expect Android to have a very comfortable lead in the smartphone OS market unless Apple begins to open up its model a bit. I wouldn’t bet on that happening given that a very pretty walled garden is essentially Apple’s business model. I don’t feel too sorry for Apple though — it does extremely well in the high-quality experience niche it occupies in the Macintosh space.”
Related CNET article: “Gartner: Android leads, Windows Phone lags in Q1” (5/19/11)
Related ReadWriteWeb article (including videos): “The Future of the Smartphone: Holograms & Folding Screens” (5/18/11)
Related Gadgetbox article: “PlayStation phone coming to Verizon Wireless” (5/17/11)
Related Mashable article: “Smartphone Sales Up 85% Year-Over-Year” (5/19/11)
Related ReadWriteWeb article: “iOS Ad Impressions Up Nearly 50% this Year, says Millennial Media” (5/19/11)