Xperia Play gets a number of bug fixes, video autofocus, more
Verizon has just detailed an over-the-air update that it has began rolling out for the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play smartphone. Version 4.0.2.E.0.57 brings with it Android 2.3.4 and its native changes, along with some of Verizon's own customizations. For example, users will now get the Verizon Wireless Video on Demand app preloaded, while VZ Navigator is updated with new 3D maps.
Sony Xperia Play gets test build of Android update
Sony finished the week by providing an Android 4.0 beta for owners of the Xperia Play. The release requires users unlock the bootloader on their phone, taking the device at least temporarily out of warranty, but will give the interface boosts and support for apps like Chrome for Android. Most of the obstacles are the risks of some games not being fully optimized as well as the absence of officially blessed Google apps, including Face Unlock, Gmail, and Google Maps.
Sony Tablet P gets unique tie in and root access
Sony's Tablet P went on sale earlier this week and now has a unique bundle as well as full access. An AT&T deal gives both the dual-screened Android 3.2 tablet and an Xperia Play for $300. While a discount on getting them separately, it does require two-year contracts for both devices.
HTC said aiming for PlayStation Cert in 2012
HTC might be the first company outside of Sony itself to get its devices PlayStation certified. A rumor from Pocket-lint sources had them being cleared to use PS1 and PlayStation Suite-specific games sometime this year. The approval would come in the second half of the year, likely ruling out a Mobile World Congress mention in two weeks' time.
OnLive Player goes to Xperia Play
OnLive on Thursday night brought its live play Android app (free, Android Market) to Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play. The already gaming-oriented phone can stream games and get full access to the physical gamepad, making it a much better fit for console and general action games. Gamers can now skip playing the touch-optimized adaptations if they prefer the hardware feel.
Sony Ericsson to begin Android 4 updates in March
Sony Ericsson just revealed it will begin updating the software on its 2011 Xperia smartphones to Android 4.0 by the end of March and into April. These will include the Xperia arc S, Xperia neo V, and Xperia ray. About a month after that, the Xperia arc, Xperia Play, Xperia neo, Xperia mini and mini pro, Xperia pro, Xperia active, and Live with Walkman will get the same update.
Gaming phone said to be reworked
Sony Ericsson is reportedly reworking its Xperia Play gaming handset, after the original version is believed to have achieved lackluster sales numbers earlier in the year. The second-generation model is said to be named "Xperia Play 4G," suggesting a 4G radio will be one of the primary upgrades, however further details remain unclear.
Phone features Playstation inspired gamepad
Regional carrier C Spire is now offering the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play smartphone. Its version is similar to that on Verizon and centers on a slide-out gamepad to let it play ports of older PlayStation games and newer titles. It continues to center on a four-inch, 480x854 display and a 1GHz single-core Snapdragon.
Sony Ericsson NA President teases details
Sony Ericsson's North America President Paul Hamnett in an interview Monday (video below) teased plans for smartphones at CES. Although the full integration with Sony wouldn't show for some time, he hinted that there would be "signs by CES" in January of what Sony's complete control would mean. Among those would include PlayStation certification on "most" of Sony's phones in the future.
Verizon outlines Thanksgiving device deals
Verizon Wireless has just brought out holiday pricing and a number of new devices in time for Thanksgiving and the Black Friday holiday rish. It will get a new, red HTC Droid Incredible 2 and offer Motorola's 4G LTE-equipped Motorola Xoom tablet for $200 on contract. Both will be available online on November 24, 25, and 28, and in-store on November 25 only. The phone will be free with a new two-year contract, but only after a $50 mail-in rebate. The Xoom LTE will require a two-year contract with at least a $30 monthly plan for 2GB of data.
Gametel controller clamps onto Android phones
Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play is the only smartphone with a built-in gamepad, but a company called Fructel is releasing an accessory that will connect to any Android-powered smartphone. Called Gametel, it uses clamps and a rubberized bumper to attach to the side of a handset for landscape-oriented gaming. It sends signals over Bluetooth, but lacks an analog joystick, opting for a directional pad instead.
Sony Ericsson may split through Sony buyout
Sony Ericsson is on the verge of splitting up as Sony hopes to get a more Apple-like control of its phones, insiders disclosed Thursday. Under the terms slipped to the WSJ, Sony would buy Ericsson's 50 percent stake. Little is known other than that the Ericsson share could be worth as much as $1.7 billion and that Ericsson's mobile-focused patents might be involved.
Android 2.3.4 brings 720p video recording to Play
The Android 2.3.4 update to the Xperia Play smartphone has brought 720p video recording, an XDA Developers forum member has found. The standard camera app will do this now, with continuous autofocus enabled. Another user notes that the camera app mod that uses the R button does not support the newly added HD video recording.
Special Xperia Play from Mojang up on eBay
Mojang, the developer of Minecraft, is selling a limited edition Xperia Play smartphone on eBay, with the 50th bid up to $1,250 at time of writing. More versions of the device are expected to be given away to winners at the upcoming GamesCom show in Germany. The handset differs from run-of-the-mill devices only with its Minecraft-themed paintjob.
Titles include Battlefield Bad Company 2, others
Ahead of the E3 gaming expo, Sony has finally expanded the list of games optimized specifically for the company's Xperia Play handset. The list includes 10 titles that will be exclusive to the device, including Minecraft, Battlefield Bad Company 2, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Shadow Vanguard, Desert Winds, Ruined, Icebreaker, Sleepy Jack, Cracking Sands, Armageddon Squadron 2, and an unnamed fighting game from Khaeon Gamestudio.
Possible second-gen phone spotted
Photos of what appears to be an Xperia Play connected to an HDMI display were recently sent to the Sony Ericsson Xperia blog. Introduced at MWC 2011, the Xperia Play has a micro USB port but no HDMI out. The leaker did not state if the phone in the pictures was connected with an HDMI output or if he used a converter cable. If it is an HDMI out, it could indicate that Sony Ericsson is working on a second generation of the Xperia Play. [via Sony Ericsson Xperia]
Xperia Arc, Play begin getting Android 2.3.3
Sony Ericsson has begun rolling out the first software update for the Xperia Arc and Play smartphones. While it's limited to certain markets and builds, a more widespread release is due next week. It includes Android 2.3.3 and deeper Facebook integration from the new Xperia minis along with more detailed fixes and upgrades.
Leak shows LG Revolution due on May 26
A new leak shows LG's Revolution smartphone is due to arrive on May 26 at Verizon, making it the third 4G LTE-capable device at the carrier. That same Thursday should also see the launch of the Droid X2 and Xperia Play. The images below brought to us by Droid-Life also show some changes compared to the version of the handset seen last.
Xperia Play shipment for New Zealand stolen
A shipment of Sony Ericsson Xperia Play handsets headed to New Zealand has been stolen, Vodafone announced over Twitter on Tuesday. This is the latest problem for the gaming-oriented smartphone, which suffered delays and hasn't been selling well in some areas since its launch. Vodafone hasn't revealed how many phones were taken, but simply stated there had been a security breach.
Xperia Play priced and dated for Verizon
Verizon on Tuesday at last committed to its launch plans for the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play. As widely rumored, the first PlayStation phone is due to reach the US on May 26 and will cost $200 on a contract. Verizon's edition will support 3G hotspot sharing for up to five devices and will see over 50 game coming through V Cast Apps; it's not clear whether this replaces or supplements the usual PlayStation Suite.
SE: Xperia Play still a growing platform
Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play handset, while capable of playing PS1 games, is not putting up big game sale numbers. But this is not a significant concern for Dominic Neil-Dwyer, the Head of Market Development at Sony Ericsson, according to PlayStationLifestyle. Popular PS1 game downloads number in the hundreds, with Destruction Derby the only title to reach as much as 1,000. In comparison, downloads for the PlayStation LifeStyle app number between 10,000 and 50,000 downloads.
Sony Ericsson says Xperia Play unaffected by hack
The so-called PlayStation phone, or Xperia Play, hasn't been affected by the recent PlayStation Network outage, Sony Ericsson announced on Thursday. "Sony and Sony Ericsson data reside on different servers," a spokesman for the company said. The handset will get its own online network, dubbed PlayStation Suite, later this year.
Japan quake causing Sony Ericsson supply issues
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo has been delayed to summer and while the Xperia Arcand Xperia Play are facing shortages. The news comes via Sony Ericsson’s Italian Facebook page, which explains that the delays and shortages are a result of the Japan earthquake.
Nintendo US head rules out getting into phones
Nintendo's US president Reggie Fils-Aime in an interview on Friday ruled out the prospect of a phone. The console maker had "no desire" to get into the business and expected it could compete with Apple, Microsoft, and Sony through a dedicated gaming device. He didn't see Nintendo as having expertise it could bring to bear in the area and told CNN that phones were almost antithetical to a game system like the 3DS.
Xperia Play hits Rogers pre-orders and FCC filing
Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play has edged closer to a release in the past day with two official appearances. Rogers has put up a pre-order page for both the Xperia Play and its more straightforward Xperia Arc sibling. Both of the Android 2.3 phones will cost $100 on a three-year contract.
Nexus S and Xperia Play get Canada launch clues
Canadians received two clues as to impending Android phone launches on Friday. One leak from a Best Buy staffer revealed that the Canadian version of the Google Nexus S is already reaching Best Buy stores ahead of its April 14 official debut. The Android 2.3 phone will also be a rare treat, MobileSyrup was told, as it will be the first Nexus S with 850MHz and 1,900MHz 3G, supporting not just the biggest three Canadian carriers but AT&T for those who buy the unlocked phone.
Sony Music Unlimited near PSP, Xperia Play, NGP
Sony in a chat late Thursday said that Music Unlimited would come to all of its main mobile devices this year. The PSP would get it within a "matter of weeks," while the Xperia Play and other Android devices should get it sometime this year. Sony also promised Eurogamer the NGP would get the streaming service, though whether it would be ready for the late 2011 initial launch or wait until 2012 wasn't mentioned.
Five PlayStation games for Xperia Play in Market
With the admittedly unspecified release of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play just around the corner, the Android Market is now offering five Sony PlayStation games meant for the phone. The games appeared on Thursday, and include Syphon Filter, MediEvil and Cool Boarders 2, with each priced at $6.38. More are expected over the short term until the device is released sometime this spring.
Verizon EOLs Incredible, roadmap backs sequel
Verizon has quietly marked the end of a minor era by withdrawing the Droid Incredible shortly before its sequel arrives. The phone no longer shows online and is likely clearing out stock at retail. HTC's phone was the first high-end Android hardware at Verizon after the original Motorola Droid and one of its most consistent sellers, having been on shelves for nearly a full year.
Sony Ericsson to bring service for custom ROM
Sony Ericsson announced it will allow whom it calls advanced developers to load bootloaders and unlock its smartphones in a secure and legal way. Certain phones shipping later in the spring will get the functionality, including some versions of the Xperia arc, Xperia neo, Xperia pro, and Xperia Play. Some requirements will need to be met, including having a SIM-unlocked phone.
O2 delays Xperia Play but Verizon on time
O2 UK on Friday said it would delay the launch of the Xperia Play past its original April 1 target. Internal testing had shown "some bugs" that would sour the experience for early buyers. It was collaborating with Sony Ericsson to make sure they were fixed and still left a window open for an April 1 launch if they were fixed in time.
Sony Ericsson release imminent as new ads out
Sony Ericsson has hired writer, actress and comedian Kristen Schaal for its latest spate of Xperia Play ads. The rather comical clips outline the Jekyll and Mr. Hyde-like nature of the handset, with business-oriented features along with the gaming aspects. Schaal says the device ships with Android 2.3 and features integrated Google Mobile Services such as 3D maps, along with "controls that give you power, intense gaming, violence, adrenaline, a promised struggle to survive that on some level is almost erotic."
Xperia Play to ship by end of month with 6 games
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Play will arrive in the UK on March 31, the company said on Friday. It will have six games pre-installed, and the maker is devoting its biggest UK marketing campaign to date for the debut. All cellphone carriers and stores will sell the gaming phone, with alternative stores such as gaming stores also possibly carrying it.
Nintendo's Iwata says iPhone, Android hurt games
Nintendo chief Satoru Iwata during his Game Developers Conference talk later on Thursday attacked the iPhone, and to a lesser extent Android, over their effect on gaming. He consciously avoided mentioning Apple or Google by name but was critical of them since gaming was strictly incidental and they had "no motivation" to keep the value up. About 92 percent of games on these platforms were free, he said, and they risked taking important income out of the business where the 3DS and DSi would keep it afloat.
O2 to get white Xperia Play exclusively
UK wireless carrier O2 communicated over Twitter that it will be the exclusive provider of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play smartphone in white. Other carriers that will get the so-called PlayStation phone include Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone in the UK as well Rogers exclusively in Canada. In the US, it will arrive at Verizon sometime in the spring.
Keen to talk up deal with Verizon, renewed US push
Sony Ericsson Chief Technology Officer Jan Uddenfeldt has revealed his thoughts on Android and Sony Ericsson’s plans for the immediate future in a wide-ranging interview with FierceWireless. He was most keen to talk about the new deal that Sony Ericsson has struck with Verizon to launch the Xperia Play, which runs the most recent version of Android, 2.3 Gingerbread. Sony Ericcsson had learnt its lesson about staying on a current platform. "A year ago, the awareness of the importance of being on the latest Android release wasn't in the company," Uddenfeldt said.
Sony says PS3 on usual 10yr cycle, no push for PS4
The PlayStation 3 isn't having its cycle accelerated to roll out its sequel, Sony Computer Entertainment head Kaz Hirai said in a chat on Thursday. He put the PS3 on the same 10-year track as earlier consoles and said the current system was "not at the halfway point yet." There were still hot games coming out for the platform, and the feature and software bundles would still get improvements, he told Impress.
Rogers confirms Xperia Play, Arc exclusives
Canadian telecommunications provider Rogers this week announced it will be the exclusive provider of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play and Xperia Arc smartphones. The former was rumored to arrive as an exclusive at the carrier early last week. Either handset will ship with Android 2.3.
Xperia Play due for Verizon and tested by us
Sony Ericsson as promised tonight unveiled the Xperia Play. The Android 2.3 flagship is the first to support PlayStation Suite and is designed to not only run PS1 and original games with PSP-style controls but to run them well. A 1GHz Snapdragon with an Adreno 205 graphics core runs many games at the full 854x480 resolution at 60 frames per second.
We cover Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play event live
Sony Ericsson is about to hold a iive event at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to formally launch the Xperia Play, better known as the PlayStation phone. It should also launch the Xperia Neo and possibly other devices. Check in after the story break for updates as they occur in person, in Barcelona time.
Xperia Play linked to Verizon at Wirefly
Sony Ericsson may make a rare gesture towards CDMA carriers by supplying the Xperia Play to Verizon. A comparison at third-party phone store Wirefly shows the PlayStation phone listed as coming to Verizon in a comparison with the iPhone. The store doesn't claim to be authoritative but has accurate specs and is known to get advance information.
Sony Ericsson confirms Xperia Play real
Sony Ericsson's Facebook fan page on Sunday formally acknowledged the existence of the Xperia Play. Challenging Apple with the claim that "Android is ready to play," the update confirms the PlayStation phone will be detailed at Sony Ericsson's Mobile World Congress event on February 13 at 6PM Barcelona time (noon Eastern). While it didn't provide technical details, the shot showed the same customized interface as the Xperia Arc and will certainly use Android 2.3.
Just waiting for official launch
The forthcoming Sony Ericsson Xperia Play has apparently suffered yet another major leak ahead of its official unveiling. The latest is the appearance of the retail booths for the gaming-centered Android-based smartphone. The booths' feature the slogan “Smart Phone, Smart Gaming”, accompanied with a gaming graphic and image of the phone’s unique slider style game pad.
Sony talks NGP battery life and relative pricing
Sony's SCEA president Jack Tretton gave hints in an interview that the NGP might ease some of the worries on battery life, but not necessarily on price. He stressed that the company would "certainly look to improve" on the PSP's battery life even with the five-inch screen and quad-core hardware. Engadget in sitting down with Tretton figured that meant more than the 4.5 to seven hours of typical use.
PlayStation Suite brings PS1 to Android early
Alongside the Next Generation Portable, Sony at its PlayStation Meeting event brought out a platform for bringing PlayStation games to non-PSP devices. PlayStation Suite brings games to any device with an "open operating system" that meets a PlayStation Certified level of performance. PlayStation 1 games like Syphon Filter will be in the first batch, but Sony hopes to have Suite-specific games.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Play tested quickly
Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play was given its first detailed hands-on in the West today. The PlayStation phone is now known to be relatively fast and runs a 1GHz (likely second-generation) Snapdragon that should handle better than most. Despite early tests, Engadget found that it now hits 59FPS in Qualcomm's NeoCore benchmark and can even tie the 43FPS of the dual-core LG Optimus 2X in NenaMark.
Sony PSP2 may have always-on 3G and AMOLED screen
Rumors of a claimed to have details. The Nikkei believed from sources that Sony's new handheld would have a data-only 3G connection and thus an always-on way to play multiplayer games or access the PlayStation Store. The connection would be supplied by NTT DoCoMo in Japan and presumably other carriers in key areas.
Xperia Play gets teardown, hardware shown off
Chinese website TGBus has torn down the Xperia Play phone that's not only not yet released, but not even confirmed by its makers. The teardown offers a glimpse at some of the hardware inside the device, including Synaptics touch software and a dedicated chip, a Cypress TrueTouch screen, a Broadcom Wi-Fi chip, and a Qualcomm PM8058 power management chip. While the existence of the device seems to be confirmed by this teardown, an official introduction of the device is expected to come at the Mobile World Congress show in February.
Xperia Play shown running PS One BIN games
A video, embedded below, has popped up that shows off the upcoming Xperia Play running classic PlayStation games. These include Resident Evil 2 and Rage Racer. The handset hasn't yet been officially announced by either Sony or Ericsson, and the games aren't likely to be officially sanctioned at first. The footage showed a game emulator, ROM Buddy, being used to launch both games from BIN files, which are images ripped from original game discs.