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Just under a month ago, Rogers launched the Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY, the world's first PlayStation certified mobile device. The PLAY runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and has an impressive range of features. It has a 4" (480x854) touchscreen display, and is powered by a 1GHz processor, along with 512MB of RAM. It has a 5MP camera along with a VGA front facing camera for video calling. Sony Ericsson has included their custom UI/launcher TimeScape, which has changed dramatically since the X10 line-up. The most unique feature is its PlayStation style game pad, which can be used for a variety of PLAY optimized games including PS1 Classics. So, how does the PLAY hold up as a smartphone and for gaming?

Beginning with the hardware, the PLAY is very nicely designed. It is a little bit thick compared to most current devices, but that is expected with the full game pad hidden under the screen. It has 3.5mm headset and microUSB ports on the left edge, while the right edge holds the volume and shoulder keys. Even though the casing is made of plastic, it feels relatively sturdy and durable, and the sliding mechanism is surprisingly solid. When you slide out the game pad, the PLAY really starts to shine, bringing that familiar PlayStation feel to your phone. The device fits fairly well in your hands when slid open, but might take a little bit of getting used to. The touchpads meant for use where joysticks or analog sticks would normally come into play, are a nice addition to the controls, though very strange to use at first. Like most gamers know, any new controller design takes some time to get completely accustomed to, and the PLAY's game pad is no exception. Still, it really brought a new element to mobile gaming, one previously found only in devices like the PSP or Nintendo DS. After using the Xperia PLAY, games on touchscreen-only devices seem weak and difficult to play, so beware when trying out your friend's new PLAY.




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The games themselves are entertaining, and the PLAY comes with 6 full version titles built-in: NFL 11, Star Battalion HD, Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior, Crash Bandicoot, Fifa 10, and Tetris. There are 5 more PS1 games available for purchase in Market for $5.75 USD each, and about 50 other PLAY optimized games and apps. Crash Bandicoot ran well and gives a great idea of what PS1 games will be like on the device. The sports games (Madden NFL 11 and FIFA 10) are great fun, and far more complex than you might think, and the other games were just as entertaining and immersive. Unfortunately Tetris didn't make use of the slide-out controls, but it is a simple enough game that the touchscreen is fine.




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As a smartphone alone, the PLAY runs just as well as most current Android handsets. OS 2.3 Gingerbread performs well, and TimeScape doesn't seem to have as strong of an impact on performance as with the X10. The application tray features custom sorting, and there are a variety of widgets pre-installed. There are media widgets that include music controls, shortcuts, and a scrolling image/video wheel. There are also a couple of clock widgets available, all of which can be used on any of the 5 home screens.

Other parts of the device that are worth mentioning include the display and camera. The display isn't very bright when turned all the way up, though it can get you by. To those who normally enjoy very bright and crisp displays like super AMOLED equipped devices may be let down however. The Camera is of decent quality, coming in at 5MP with an LED flash. It actually handles close-up shots very well, though mid and long range photos are of average quality. It can also record video at WVGA resolution, and surprisingly doesn't capture at 720p. Videos recorded with the PLAY are also average, looking great on your mobile screen but mediocre on larger displays.




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Lastly, battery life. The PLAY surprisingly held up very well, lasting longer than many devices in the current market. Even while gaming for a few hours, the battery indicator only dropped a sliver. Unfortunately it still doesn't compare to the life of the BlackBerry Bold 9700 or a few other devices, but considering its large screen and game pad, does very well.

Overall, the Xperia PLAY is a great device. It is a full-featured Android smartphone and really makes mobile gaming possible. Kudos to Sony Ericsson for producing a great, and very unique device! Hopefully they continue to create great handsets that stand-out and bring a new element to smartphones.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY is available from Rogers for $99.99 on a 3 year term or $549.99 contract free.


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We recently let you know that Sony Ericsson was planning to launch a new PSP-style phone, the "Play", and now we're happy to report confirmation that Rogers will be launching the new device. Along with the confirmation regarding the Play, it looks like a second Ericsson handset will be coming to Rogers, the Arc. No word yet on pricing or an exact release date for either of these devices, but a "Spring 2011" launch has been confirmed.

The Play, which features PSP-style controls that slide out horizontally in place of a QWERTY keybaord, runs on Android OS 2.3 Gingerbread, and features a 4" (480x854) touchscreen display, a 5MP camera with LED flash, a front facing camera for video calling, and more. The Arc is also an impressive handset, featuring a 4.2"(480x854) touchscreen display, Android OS 2.3 Gingerbread, and an 8MP camera with LED flash and 720p HD video capture. Both of these upcoming handsets are powered by 1GHz processors, and feature connectivity options including Wi-Fi, bluetooth, and GPS.


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Their has been quite a bit of buzz about what Sony would be doing next when it comes to their mobile gaming platform PlayStation, and with rumours flying out every corner of the internet, it looks like we're finally getting some official confirmation. February 13th, Sony Ericsson intends on officially announcing the Ericsson Play, the next Ericsson Android handset and the next PlayStation portable device all rolled into one!

The Play is expected to feature a 4.2" (480x854) LED touchscreen display, a 5MP camera with LED flash, and will run on Android 2.3 Gingerbread at launch. Other specifications include a 1GHz processor, 380MB of RAM, and connectivity options including Wi-Fi, GPS, and bluetooth. What sets the Play apart from other Android handsets is the PSP-style controls that slide out where a QWERTY keyboard would normally be located, giving hardware control for gaming to users where they'd normally need to use touchscreen controls. No word yet on pricing, or when the device will launch, but we should be getting that information at the official announcement, which is just around the corner on the 13th.


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The PSP slim or PSP 2000 is already orders some on Amazon.com. It would cost of them only 169.99 $ and the delivery is free in the United States. It does not act of a smaller version, but with any new functionality. The exact date of launching seems to be next on September 10.


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Sony announced some time ago already that those which will update their PSP will profit from a processor of 333 MHz instead of 222 MHz. The limitation of the processor was made starting from the firmware, but Sony had decided to resolve this option. A small problem appeared lately, the processor of the PSP would fall down to 222 MHz when the player uses Wifi connection to play on line for example. A person in charge SCEA to contact it GameDaily BIZ to state to be with the current of the problem and informed the journalists that him and its team worked regulated problem.


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Sony and T-Mobile already had similar partnerships with Mylo have just announced that the users of Frimware 3.30 of PlayStation Portable will be able to connect themselves to the access point Wifi of T-Mobile free. All good things has an end, the offer is valid for 6 months after your first connection to Hot-Post T-Mobile. After the 6 free months, T-Mobile will offer special fixed prices for the owners of PSP. Let us recall that T-Mobile has 7000 access points WiFi to the United States.


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Nintendo is trying by all means to keep his Nintendo DS at the same levels as the Play Station Portable (PSP) from Sony. He announced the release of a television receiver and adds a web browser. For the receiver the tv there is nothing unusual given that the GameGear have one. Regarding the web browser, the engine will be based on Opera. No date was specified for Europe, but likely that Canada will benefit from its proximity to the United States to have the accessories soon.


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