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Sony Xperia Play Prototype Tips Up

Sony Xperia Play Prototype Tips Up

Engadget's hands-on with the Xperia Play gives a good taste of Sony's plans for the finished product.

In addition to the announcement of Sony's new PSP, the Next-Generation Portable, a prototype of Sony's much-rumoured PlayStation Phone has also just popped up in the wild.

A pre-production Xperia Play, also known as the PlayStation Phone (or by its codename Zeus 1), has found its way into the hands of the guys at Engadget, and it's looking like an impressive piece of equipment.

Although it clearly can't match the reported power of the quad-core NGP, the HSDPA-equipped handset is pretty impressive for a smartphone. Packing Android 2.3 'Gingerbread' as its operating system, the slightly curved front is dominated by a 4in 854 x 480 LCD with multi-touch capabilities and Sony's Bravia graphics processing engine.

Sadly, it appears that Sony hasn't opted for a dual-core processor such as Nvidia's popular Tegra 2 platform in the Xperia Play. Initial indications show a 1GHz ARM-based single-core processor joined by an Adreno 205 graphics processing unit, although so far nobody has been brave enough to dismantle the device in order to find out the exact model of processor.

Meanwhile, connections are covered by a Broadcom BCM4329 chip, which includes Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR and an FM receiver, along with the aforementioned HSDPA 3G networking feature.

The key feature of the Xperia Play, however, is its ability to play Sony games. Sliding up the display reveals a novel control pad, featuring the familiar PlayStation-layout D-pad and buttons, while your fingers can rest on a pair of shoulder buttons.

In place of the DualShock's twin analogue sticks is a clever touchpad, which allows emulation of analogue control sticks without any moving parts. Sadly, however, current Android games don't support them, so there's no indication of whether the touchpad is any good at pretending to be a pair of physical sticks.

Sony still hasn't officially confirmed that the device exists, but many are expecting an announcement at the upcoming Mobile World Congress event. If so, we shouldn't have too long to wait in order to find out when we can get our hands on the long-awaited PlayStation Phone.

Do you think that the Xperia Play will generate the same level of excitement as the NGP, or will Sony be losing ground to Nintendo's 3DS, as well as the iPhone, in the next-generation hand-held market? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

15 Comments

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Yemerich 27th January 2011, 16:14 Quote
I don't get it... Is Sony shootin on its own foot?
Why would you buy a PSP when you could buy a smart phone?

Even knowin the new PSP has a quad core processor. If you want good games, It wouldn't be a small screen that would do all the difference....
bob_lewis 27th January 2011, 16:15 Quote
In no way related to the article, but there's a Big Bird-yellow car outside my window.
wuyanxu 27th January 2011, 16:17 Quote
soooooo what is the PSP2/NGP for?
Mraedis 27th January 2011, 16:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yemerich
I don't get it... Is Sony shootin on its own foot?
Why would you buy a PSP when you could buy a smart phone?

Even knowin the new PSP has a quad core processor. If you want good games, It wouldn't be a small screen that would do all the difference....

Little kids that don't need a smartphone but love a psp?
Skiddywinks 27th January 2011, 17:14 Quote
I don't understand how Sony can release this, billed as a smartphone and gaming device, and yet it be less powerful than my Galaxy S. Also, unless they pay developers (or develop their own games), who is going to want to develop a game for an Android device that only a small percentage of people with an Android device can play? I would imagine working in the control system isn't exactly easy, especially when everyone is so used to touchscreen.
Faulk_Wulf 27th January 2011, 19:00 Quote
This device may well suck. But. It may preduce enough buzz to have someone else do it right. Microsoft and Sanding. Maybe Motorola but Im done with them.
Redbeaver 27th January 2011, 19:54 Quote
i dont get it with the above comments...

shooting themselves in the foot?

the NGP/PSP2 has OLED display with 2 touchscreens, the thumb pads, and graphic that's close to PS3 (read Kotaku reviews).

This thing can't touch its gaming capabilities, even though it has a phone.

plus the fact the people who uses a cellphone but also want a dedicated portable gaming device, is fairly different with the people who loves the latest cellphone tech and likes to play games on it too.

2 different market.

my 2c? PSP2 will be as popular as PS3, and this phone will not due to the fact of competition with Android/iPhone gaming segments..... Sony hopes to dominate the portable gaming industry while with this phone they just want a share of the market.
Repo 27th January 2011, 20:00 Quote
I can't understand this lack of understanding either.

They are for two different markets (yes there is some overlap but then there always is) and have completely different capabilities. Sony kept on selling the PS2 for a while after the PS3 was launched; this is no different.
Sloth 27th January 2011, 20:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
soooooo what is the PSP2/NGP for?
I'd rather have the PSP2. I pay $50 a month for my cellphone but can't play any games past Tetris. PSPhone would let me play mildly attractive games while also likely binding me to a two year, $100 a month phone company contract for smartphone features I don't want, even though it would likely retail for just $100 down from the phone company. PSP2 being a $300~ down payment would still be paid off within a few months of savings from not having a phone contract, while also giving me PS3 quality games. Clear winner, imo.

Alternatively, smartphone owners who just want a boost in their gaming will just have to switch to a contract with the PSPhone and off they go. Likely only $100 down and no increase monthly.
mute1 27th January 2011, 23:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Repo
I can't understand this lack of understanding either.

They are for two different markets ... .

Exactly. If one of them is not worth buying, it is the phone, in my humble opinion. A closer examination of the capabilities of each makes it clear why.
wuyanxu 27th January 2011, 23:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
I'd rather have the PSP2. I pay $50 a month for my cellphone but can't play any games past Tetris. PSPhone would let me play mildly attractive games while also likely binding me to a two year, $100 a month phone company contract for smartphone features I don't want, even though it would likely retail for just $100 down from the phone company. PSP2 being a $300~ down payment would still be paid off within a few months of savings from not having a phone contract, while also giving me PS3 quality games. Clear winner, imo.

Alternatively, smartphone owners who just want a boost in their gaming will just have to switch to a contract with the PSPhone and off they go. Likely only $100 down and no increase monthly.
good points, however, i can't help but feel they've wasted quite a lot of R&D money here.

surely a single design would be enough, one with GSM 3G radio, one without. like how the iPad's doing it.
V3ctor 28th January 2011, 09:22 Quote
Guys... Here's the phone torn apart... but I can't recognize the chips

http://kotaku.com/5731464/the-playstation-phone-torn-apart/gallery/
manishg 28th January 2011, 11:03 Quote
Well i heard some great reviews for xperia and now i am more interested in the xperia mini 10..i thik its also got some sensational looks and impressive fetures..
HourBeforeDawn 28th January 2011, 20:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yemerich
I don't get it... Is Sony shootin on its own foot?
Why would you buy a PSP when you could buy a smart phone?

Even knowin the new PSP has a quad core processor. If you want good games, It wouldn't be a small screen that would do all the difference....

because the smart phone has 1/6 of the ability of the full blown PSP2 and will limit the game play, to get full experience you have to go with the psp2
sandys 29th January 2011, 13:40 Quote
Its only going to take a couple of year before they can pack the PSP2s punch in the same formfactor

This device sets out the form factor and also sets up the framework for an Android games market that might work a bit better than the current one does and be compatible with more devices over time, devices that don't have to be from Sony just compatible Android handsets.

Fix a hardware standard and development for it will be easier, its quite surprising how many games I can play on my 2.1 android (Liquid) that the missus can't on hers (Racer) which is 2.1, this I find is Androids biggest problem and where Apple does well. Power doesn't matter too much as the DS has long proven.

Buttons for gaming on a mobile phone = win to me, I'll certainly buy it when it drops assuming Sony tax isn't as high as Apple tax.
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