Can the PlayStation Phone really succeed?

Can the PlayStation Phone really succeed?Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Play has definitely been one of the stars of 2011’s Mobile World Congress thus far. Indeed, at Sony Ericsson’s launch event – where we also saw the Arc, Neo and Pro – they seemed to save the best for last in the Play. But while the PlayStation Phone has unquestionably garnered a shedload of attention, can it really succeed when it hits the market?

As Sony Ericsson’s Pedro told us, they haven’t scrimped on the smartphone elements of the Xperia Play. It’ll run Android Gingerbread, with a 1GHz Snapdragon processor and 5MP camera with flash. While the colossal disaster that was the N-Gage was entirely impractical as a phone, the Xperia Play’s controls tuck under the screen quite nicely.

In terms of software support, there’ll be around 50 games available at launch, with an as-yet-unconfirmed PSOne Classic. The PlayStation Phone has the backing of 20 developers, including Electronic Arts and Gameloft. On top of PlayStation Suite, the Xperia Play will also have access to apps on the Android Market.

Games are expected to sell for €3-7, which seems entirely reasonable. But how well do they actually run? The PlayStation Phone has a dedicated graphics processor in the Adreno 205. Games zip along at a smooth 60 frames per second. No complaints from me after a fairly lengthy session on Asphalt 6: Adrenaline.

All good so far. But there are two fairly major questions that remain to be answered.

First, we don’t know how much the Xperia Play will cost. Sony Ericsson will inevitably hype the heck out of the launch, but if the handset is substantially more expensive than, say, the HTC Desire or iPhone 4, the Xperia Play’s appeal might lie predominantly with hardcore gamers.

Speaking of hardcore, the handheld gaming landscape has changed dramatically over the past few years. Consumers are now used to quick-fix games like Angry Birds, where it’s easy to drop in and out. And Angry Birds in particular is free on the Android Market (59p from the App Store); Sony Ericsson might have a tough time convincing consumers to part with their hard-earned cash when there’s so much available for cheap.

So, to recap.

Good:

  • Independently, a decent Android phone
  • Strong software support
  • Games run well

Bad:

  • Potential lack of appeal to casual mobile gamers

Don’t know:

  • The price

I’m going to go out on a limb and say – yes, the Xperia Play can succeed. Nay, it will succeed. I’m buying one.

Read more about: Sony Ericsson Xperia PlayAndroid

Add a comment
5 comments

Bradder  Feb. 15, 2011 at 15:31

Im going to say.....Possibly no, Why? What turned out to be a great idea (PSP) had slowly turned it into a running joke due to basically there were no original games for it and everything just became a Playstation 2 port onto a UMD disk, and nobody wants old games which weren't even that great in the first place, or had reduced functions due to the limitations of the device or software which instead of trying to find away round, just got lazy and made do with it.

If they can get the games right, it could work, but im not holding my breath as the PS3 has been a disappointment at first thats been slow to catch up and due to the regularity of new phones that come out dont have time to bed in, its now or never.

coerce86  Feb. 15, 2011 at 15:47

Another ultimate question is how will the battery fair if the graphics are much above normal smartphones?
And in all honesty will the titles be any better than what is already (or will be available) in the future?

lcurdie / MOD  Feb. 15, 2011 at 16:16

@coerce86

Good question. Pedro told us the battery would last around 5.5 hours with continued play.

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 15, 2011 at 16:46

Why wouldn't it appeal to casual gamers? The fact that you can run console games, doesn't mean you can't play Angry Birds or paper toss etc... it's really just down to the retail price. If you pay too high a PSone-tax, than casual gamers should probably buy something else.
I haven't forgiven Sony for not making the PS3 backward compatible, so I will pass :p

sid2  Feb. 20, 2011 at 23:22

I can't wait to see how long it takes for Geohot to rip this open (If he can).

Email:

You don't need an account to comment. Just enter your email address. We'll keep it private.

Comment: