After numerous delays, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play smartphone is now available at O2 UK. Back in February, the Android-powered device was rolled out by Sony Ericsson to much fanfare as the world’s first PlayStation certified smartphone. The touch-screen device offers all of the functionality of a top of the line smartphone combined with the ability to play 3D PlayStation games. At launch, users had access to 50 Android “optimized” games. The company teamed up with an impressive lineup of game developers such as Electronic Arts, Sony Computer Entertainment and Digital Chocolate, the makers of the hit Millionaire City that’s now the hottest game on Facebook. But UK gamers had to wait until the O2 UK network was satisfied with the Android (Gingerbread) 2.3 gaming Operating System. In March, O2 said it found “bugs in the software” and was delaying the launch of the device until June. Now, it’s here a week early.
Just recently, Sony Ericsson released an update to the Xperia Play that included the Android 2.3.3 update and the promised “Facebook Inside Xperia,” upgrade that further integrates a user’s social networking experience with the Player. The update apparently fixed the discovered gaming “bugs” with Gingerbread. And a satisfied O2 UK promptly placed the “exclusive” Xperia Play smartphones on its website in both black and white.
UK gamers can have the Xperia Play for “free” if they opt to sign up for the pricier monthly plans and an extended two-year contract. The Player can also be purchased through the company’s Pay & Go option, for a hefty price of £430. That translates to $702 in American dollars. Sticker shock may be scaring off some O2 UK customers.
DialtoSave reports that sales for the Player via the O2 UK website, so far, have been virtually non-existent.
“Just yesterday, mobile-insider Eldar Murtazin revealed that the Xperia Play has seen “no sales at all”, which will prompt Sony Ericsson to lower its price. The handset’s also been hit by underwhelming download figures, with each PSOne game failing to break the 1,000 figure.”
Pricey or not, the gaming device can deliver the goods, with one of the best smartphone Operating Systems on the planet, a 4-inch touch-screen, a PlayStation slide out gamepad, and a 5.1 rear-facing megapixel camera.
The Player is also a smartphone powerhouse, having a 1 GHz Scorpion ARMv7 processor and memory card support up to 32 GB.
When Xperia Play was launched in February, Rikko Sakaguchi, Executive Vice President and Chief Creation Officer at Sony Ericsson hailed the device, as “truly revolutionary.”
Back here in the United States, the Xperia Play is carried by Verizon Wireless and can be had for about $99.99. That price is a far cry from O2 UK’s Pay & Go option of £430.
What do you think? Did you scoop up a Xperia Play? Does it deliver, as a “truly revolutionary” smartphone gaming device?
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