Sony, Verizon unveil PlayStation phone at Mobile World Congress

Handset manufacturer Sony Ericsson and mobile carrier Verizon Wireless have partnered to launch the Xperia Play, a phone optimized to play Sony PlayStation games. The phone will be available in March.

Games are a major portion of the mobile content, so making PlayStation games available in an enhanced Android smart phone package appears to be a winning combination. Xperia Play offers a gaming environment very similar to PlayStation, including fast graphics and dedicated game controls. The slide-out game controls consist of a digital directional pad, two analog touch pads, two shoulder buttons and the four PlayStation icons. In addition to Sony Computer Entertainment, other game publishers including EA, Gameloft and GLU Mobile/Activision will make between 50 and 60 gaming titles available via download from the Android Market. The Xperia Play will come preloaded with between five and 10 games. An application will enable users to discover and download titles for the device, access recently played games and see information about the downloaded games.

In addition to gaming, in portrait mode, the Xperia Play offers features typical of an Android smart phone, including a 5-megapixel camera, 4in multitouch screen and social networking functionality. The handset incorporates Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor with a 1GHz CPU and embedded Adreno GPU graphics processor for 60fps playback. The device will run on Google’s latest Android platform, Gingerbread v. 2.3. The Xperia Play is also on track to become a PlayStation Certified device, which will give it access to game content provided through the PlayStation Suite initiative currently under development by Sony Computer Entertainment for launch later in 2011.