By Andrew Liszewski
For a while a lot of people thought that Sony had kind of given up on the PSP as a gaming platform, and were going to simply roll it into one of their Android-powered smartphones in the form of a PSP phone. Well thankfully the surprise reveal of their NGP (aka the PSP2) put those rumors to rest, but it was clear that Sony still had something in development, and it turns out that something is called the Xperia Play.
As Android smartphones go it’s pretty robust, with a 854×480 pixel capacitive multi-touch TFT LCD display, 5 1/2 hours of gaming time on a single charge, a 5.1MP flash assisted digital camera and a 1 GHz Scorpion ARMv7 CPU powering the lot. And in lieu of a physical keyboard the Xperia Play’s sliding design reveals a ‘PlayStation Certified’ controller with digital and presumably touch-sensitive analog controls. At launch, which is slated to be on Verizon in the early Spring, Sony is promising some 50 available titles including a handful shipping with the phone, but don’t expect anything too amazing since the popular PlayStation One title they were boasting about turned out to be Crash Bandicoot. (Maybe that will sound more exciting if you say it to yourself like Riiiiiiiiidge Raaaaaaaacer!!!)
As dedicated gaming phones go it looks like it sits near the top of the heap, but that’s not saying much when the only thing underneath you is a mountain of unsold Nokia N-Gages.