David Hilton, MD of Sony Ericsson, has declared that the forthcoming Xperia Play is “cooler than the iPhone” and “probably not as expensive”. Well, he was hardly going to say: “The iPhone is miles better, to be perfectly honest.”
Regardless of his bias, saying that it’s “cooler” is fairly subjective and ultimately pointless. The pricing, on the other hand, is rather interesting.
At last week’s Mobile World Congress we got our hands on the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play and asked: Can the PlayStation Phone really succeed? We identified pricing as a key factor; if the smartphone was substantially more expensive than its rivals, it might’ve restricted its appeal to hardcore gamers.
However, it sounds like that won’t be the case. Hilton reckons it’ll cost "the same or probably a little bit less" than the iPhone 4.
"The first thing this does is put Sony Ericsson firmly back in the game of smartphones," boomed Hilton. "It puts our smartphones out there with the latest Android technology, the benefits of that coupled with the best of Sony technology that make using a Sony Ericsson much more satisfying, much more enjoyable and frankly much more cool than using an iPhone."
With the new PSP, the NGP (Next Generation Portable), coming later in the year, it remains to be seen if gamers will hold off.
"If someone wants the ultimate gaming machine and is prepared to wait until later in 2011, then the NGP might be for them,” said Dave. "But they would have to carry another smartphone and many people don't want to do that."
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Play will be available from each of the Big 5, namely O2, Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone and 3. O2 announced the release date as 1 April on its online store.