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Sony Ericsson reveal PlayStation phone

Check out this mobile – it’s the long-awaited PlayStation phone.

Yes, that’s right, a mobile phone designed with portable PlayStation games in mind.

Made by Sony Ericsson, the XPERIA PLAY, is the first smartphone to feature dedicated gaming controls to work a range of titles specially made for the new PlayStation Suite download service.

Sony recently announced these games would be available from the Android platform’s Market later this year.

You’re in control

Due out next month, the Xperia Play was revealed at the Mobile World Congress expo in Barcelona, Spain.

It features slide out controls, which appear when you pop up the screen.

Underneath you’ll find a digital D-pad, two analogue touch pads and the four PlayStation icons: circle, cross, square and triangle. There are also two shoulder buttons.

The handset features a four-inch multi touchscreen too with a high-powered 1Ghz processor and graphics chip to produce smooth and immersive images on the screen.

Available on all five UK networks – Vodafone, O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Three – the device will run on the latest 2.3 version of the Android platform, called Gingerbread, and also comes with a five megapixel camera.

Rikko Sakaguchi, Chief Creation Officer at Sony Ericsson, said: “Today is a very proud moment for Sony Ericsson as we bring something truly revolutionary to the market.

“Living up to our vision of Communication Entertainment, Xperia PLAY will forever change the way people think about smartphones and mobile gaming.”

Game on

With battery life for gaming of around five hours, you’ll have plenty of time for the hits coming to the Xperia PLAY including EA’s Need For Speed, The Sims 3 and a world-first multiplayer version of FIFA 10 for mobile.

There’s also Guitar Hero, Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell, alongside a range of classic PSone titles from Sony.

Electronic Arts’ Travis Boatman believes the experience will be amazing. He said: “The device’s dedicated gaming keypad gives FIFA players what matters most in a footy game, ultimate
ball control, quick player selection on the pitch, effortless passes and more.”

Other tech highlights of the Xperia PLAY include auto focus and a flash for the camera, geo tagging, video recording, Google’s Music Player, built-in Facebook and Twitter apps and Google Talk.

Sylvia Chind, of Three, added: “At Three we’re eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY. We believe this handset celebrates a further step change in the way in which consumers use data, merging mobile communications and entertainment.

“It is perfect for gamers but above all, it’s a top-of-the-range smartphone.”

Big hit

With no price announced just yet, you should probably expect it to cost somewhere between £100 and £200 on a new contract.

Gaming on mobile phones is nothing new. Just look at how many apps there are already for the Apple iPhone and other Android devices.

But the combination of the PlayStation brand name, a high spec smartphone and excellent dedicated controls, is sure to make the Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY a big hit.

So rest your fingers and thumbs now, they may well be getting a good workout when this is released some time in March.