Sony Ericsson played its MWC hand early last night, at an exclusive press conference in swank Barcelona club Opium.
Kaz Hirai, President of Networked Products and Services Group, was spotted wandering around before the event, all but confirming that the Xperia Play would feature heavily. It was already pretty much official after being shown off in an advert - or “commercial” if you will - at the Superbowl. It's a pretty surreal ad. Check it out on YouTube if you haven't seen it already.
Right, back to the press conference. First up, the Xperia Arc, which was unveiled at the CES in Vegas last month. The 4.2in smartphone will start shipping worldwide in March. It’ll run Android Gingerbread with full HDMI connectivity, and has the honour of being the first handset with Sony’s Mobile Bravia Engine, promising: “excellent visual brilliance and a crystal clear image.” It’s supermodel thin at 8.7mm, though not quite as skinny as the Samsung Galaxy S2.
Next, the 3.7in Xperia Neo. Again, not much of a surprise. We’d already seen a video on YouTube, and Russian blogger Eldar Murtazin of Mobile Review recently posted an in-depth preview. The Xperia Neo will support HD video and HDMI connectivity, with an 8MP camera. Like the Xperia Arc, it’ll feature Sony’s Mobile Bravia Engine and Android Gingerbread.
Orange and T-Mobile have confirmed they'll be offering the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc and Xperia Neo from Q2 of 2011.
President and CEO Bert Nordberg took to the stage to make Sony Ericsson’s “most anticipated announcement.” It’s been a long time coming. Yep, it’s the not-so-secret Xperia Play, the "world's first-ever PlayStation certified device... the perfect combination of communication and entertainment." Other than confirmation of Gingerbread, it’s all quiet on the spec front.
It’ll come pre-loaded with an as-yet-unidentified Playstation One classic. In terms of software support, Glu, Gameloft, EA, Digital Chocolate, Trendy Entertainment, Digital Trends and Fish Labs were all featured on a slide. Guitar Hero, Dead Space, Assassin’s Creed and Dungeon Defenders are all confirmed. Around 50 titles will be available at launch.
The Xperia Play starts shipping in March in the US. No official UK release date yet. Gah.
We’ll be grabbing ourselves a shot of all the latest Xperia phones as soon as possible. Stay tuned for a shedload of pics.