Early reviews of the Sony Ericsson Experia PLAY make it clear that the Xperia PLAY is a pretty decent Android mobile. It runs Android 2.3, has a 1ghz processor and looks and feels great. The thing is though, there are many great Android phones out there for substantially less as the Xperia PLAY comes with a price tag of at least £30 a month. The one thing that Sony Ericsson is promoting with this phone is an ultimate gaming experience that has never been seen before on a mobile. Is the gaming experience a good enough reason to buy the Xperia Play? Lets find out.
Reasons to buy
1. Gamepad – The Xperia PLAY has a slide out game controller that has the classic playstation circle, square, cross and triangle controls and directional arrows . While the touch screen and accelerometer work well for casual games such as Angry Birds and Doodle Jump, a proper game controller will work very well for games such as first person shooters. Reviews of the Xperia Play almost unanimously agree that the game controller feels good and works very well.
2. PlayStation One games – Many PlayStation One games are available in the PlayStation Pocket store and more are set to come.
3. 4″ screen – The 4″ screen on the Xperia PLAY will be great for playing games.
Reasons not to buy
1. Poor internal storage – The Xperia PLAY only has 400mb of internal storage. It would have been nice to see the mobile have a large amount of storage such as 16gb or 32gb because it is designed for games and games take up a huge amount of space. You can install games onto SD Card so this isn’t the end of the world but it would be nice to be able to install them straight onto the phone and not have to mess with storing them on the SD Card.
2. Battery life – The Xperia PLAY has a 1500mAh cell battery. This is slightly better than some handsets such as the HTC Desire which has a 1400mAh cell battery. We did want to see a better battery in the Xperia Play though, the mobile phone is designed to play games and we all know that games suck up battery life.
3. Screen resolution – The Xperia Play has a screen resolution of 854 x 480 pixels. There are worse screen resolutions on Android mobiles but as the Xperia Play is designed for games it would have been nice to have a HD screen
4. No exclusive games – The Xperia PLAY does not currently have any exclusive games other than the PlayStation One ports. This may all change in the future though as Sony could score exclusives and could even bring its own titles to the device such as Little Big Planet.
5. Price – If you want to buy an unlocked Xperia Play off contract then it is going to cost you, $701.74 or £494.99 to be exact. There are much cheaper and more powerful Android mobiles out there so you need to consider if the gaming experience is worth the extra dosh.
Pkflash in the comments made a good point, you are paying around $300 (£200) more than a similar spec Android mobile in exchange for a game pad and old ps1 games. Is that really worth it?
It is clear that the Xperia PLAY has many great advantages for gaming on Android such as the great gaming controller, the big screen and the exclusive PlayStation One games. However, the Xperia Play could be so much better for gaming. It could have more internal storage, a better battery, better screen resolution and more exclusive console quality games such as Big Little Planet. For now, the Xperia PLAY does have some great features that make it worth buying over other Android mobiles but if you can wait then it might be worth waiting for a better PlayStation certified mobile with better hardware.