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MWC: Sony Ericsson unveils ‚PlayStation phone‚

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Sony Ericsson yesterday announced the Xperia Play, also known as the ‚PlayStation phone‚ at the World Mobile Congress in Barcelona. The phone is Android based, features a slide-out gaming keyboard and uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor.

Sony Ericsson unveiled the Xperia Play ‚ aka the ‚PlayStation phone‚ – ahead of its launch next month in selected European and Asian markets. A CDMA version of the new handset will go on sale in the US with Verizon Wireless in the spring, a major boost for Sony Ericsson in the States.

The details of the Android-based Xperia Play, which have been much leaked in the run up to the Mobile World Congress, include: a slide-out gaming keyboard featuring a digital D pad, a second pad featuring the distinctive PlayStation buttons, as well as two analogue touch pads and two shoulder buttons. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor has been optimised for gaming on the new handset, which also features a four-inch screen.

The vendor also announced two other Android handsets: the Xperia pro, which features a QWERTY keyboard, and the Xperia neo, a more mid-range smartphone than the high-end Xperia arc, which the company announced last month and showed off yesterday. All new handsets, including the Xperia Play, are based on version 2.3 of the Android OS, also known as Gingerbread.

Sony Ericsson needs to offer a library of games to support the launch of the Xperia Play. There will be 50 titles available, mostly in the Android Market, for its appearance next month. About 15 developers are working on games, including Electronic Arts, Gameloft and Glu Mobile. One game from Sony will be available for free on the new handset, plus 5-6 from other developers.

The Xperia Play is the first PlayStation-certified handset. Sony announced its certification programme for Android handset vendors last month which means other vendors can compete against Sony Ericsson with PlayStation-certified devices.

– Story courtesy Mobile World Congress Show Daily

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