So, XDA-Developers was lucky enough to be invited to attend the Sony Xperia Play Launch Event in London tonight, giving us hands on time with the much anticipated new Android gaming phone!
The event was actually in a nightclub set up in a warehouse in the centre of London, with loud thumping music that all the geeks were straining over in the dark and dry ice in order to hear the Sony reps. However, this did not stop us from trying out the funky new phone.
The Xperia Play runs Gingerbread and feels pretty smooth and responsive switching from home screen to home screen and launching apps. The phone itself feels quite light and plasticky but sturdy at the same time. The slide mechanism in particular felt smooth and stable. The FWVGA screen is bright and vivid although one of the Sony reps told me that the Play does not sport any Bravia technology like the Arc.
The Play is roughly the same size as an HTC Desire, but slightly thicker with the control pad.
The battery cover as has been publicised is rather tricky to remove and unfortunately the SIM card and SD card slot are located at the top of the phone under the battery cover .
Once the screen is slid open, Sony’s Xperia Play app opens up and a choice of games are presented where you can scroll horizontally to the game of your choice and launch. I was told that the games range from £1 to £10, so not ‘break the bank’ money although some may think £10 is a lot for a mobile platform game. Spiderman was easy to control and anyone familiar with any Playstation controls will find the Play intuitive to game on, with the standard left and right buttons at the ‘top’ of the Play and the keypad and buttons in the usual place. Having said that, the control pad also features a pair of ‘control sticks’ in the centre, which I found to be too close together to game in any comfort.
The Play also comes with some cool widgets, one of which is the Playstation pocket widget that places a small or large icon on your homescreen from where you can launch your favourite games. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to try out the game store as this does not officially launch until tomorrow. Apparently, this is also when developers can also submit their own games (so I was informed).
All in all, a great phone but a tad on the light side with a cheaper feel about it. Let’s see how much of the market Sony can pick up. What do you think?___________________