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Sony Unveils First PlayStation Phone 86

Posted by Soulskill
from the seeing-what-sticks dept.
KRK-TR writes "Sony Ericsson has unveiled the first 'PlayStation phone,' called the Xperia Play. The device resembles a regular smart phone but has gaming buttons that slide out from beneath the screen." Eurogamer got some hands-on time with the device, and they had this to say: "The recessed digital controls are precise and responsive but have a hard, microswitch-style 'click' to them which contrasts with the soft, springy touch of a PSP or a Dual Shock pad. There are left and right shoulder buttons recessed into the handset – you need to find these with the tips of your index fingers, rather than the joints as you're used to. The most interesting inputs are the twin circular touch-pads between the buttons. These effectively replace the on-screen virtual analogue sticks that blight so many smartphone games – and they do the job well. ... Despite the nominal similarity to PSPgo, it doesn't bear any family resemblance to or design hallmarks of SCE products, and indeed is only passingly identifiable as a Sony Ericsson phone. It's very much an anonymous Android handset with the added novelty of game controls."
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Sony Unveils First PlayStation Phone

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  • oblig (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Osgeld (1900440) on Friday February 18, 2011 @07:36PM (#35249880)

    Fuck sony

    • Re:oblig (Score:5, Insightful)

      by moniker (9961) on Friday February 18, 2011 @08:31PM (#35250370)

      On the bright side, because it is a phone, there is the DMCA exemption for jail breaking it.

      • by cbhacking (979169)

        That's actually a very good point. I wonder of Sony really considered that fact...

      • by canajin56 (660655)
        The DMCA exception doesn't prevent them from bricking your phone, just having you thrown in prison after. They will still put all of their effort into destroying customers phones, don't you worry. It also won't stop the phone from recording every phonecall you make and sending it to Sony over your 3G, nor will it stop it from logging your credit card numbers and sending them to Sony every time it's booted, unencrypted.
      • by Sockatume (732728)

        Jailbreaking it for the purpose of changing wireless carrier. The exception's rather neatly circumscribed, you can bet that any jailbreak which allows you to bypass the PlayStation Suite's DRM will have no protection.

        • by Sloppy (14984)

          The exemption says nothing about changing wireless carriers. It allows you to load software that the manufacturer hasn't blessed. It was a response to the iPhone.

      • Re:oblig (Score:4, Insightful)

        by DMoylan (65079) on Saturday February 19, 2011 @01:32PM (#35254392)

        so a firmware update to remove the phone functionality? if they can remove the other os option... :-)

        haven't bought sony since 1997, not likely to buy for another 10 years. at least.

    • Come on, mods. It isn't really trolling if he's talking about Sony, now, is it? So he was less than eloquent, but he's saying pretty much what all comments below will. You see, this cat Sony is a bad mother-

    • by Phoghat (1288088)
      And the horse they rode in on. They are against every freedom that gamers can aspire to
    • Sony Ericson is NOT Sony. It has enough "erricsson" to make that difference clear.

      SE has had a history of being more "open" and "standards compliant" than most other phones.

  • Terrible name (Score:2, Interesting)

    by imthesponge (621107)
    "Xperia Play"? Are you serious? It sounds like some Chinese knockoff.
  • DOA (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Reminds me of this bit from "Objectified", quoting roughly:

    "So the stats come, our average customer is a woman about 30-s early 40-s, has 2 point 3 children on average. I interrupted him. I said, don't give me the average, give me the extremes, the average will take care of itself naturally"

    If you are a gamer enough that you'd want your phone to come with a thick joystick pad, wouldn't you rather go the extra inch, and get yourself a separate PSP, that is the solid experience, and then some phone, as you ne

    • If you are a gamer enough that you'd want your phone to come with a thick joystick pad, wouldn't you rather go the extra inch, and get yourself a separate PSP, that is the solid experience, and then some phone, as you need.

      Except PSP can't run the specific game you want to play because Sony declines to give its developer a license to develop for PSP. Lately, Sony has even been seen to sue those who enable homebrew on its platforms. But this isn't Sony's platform; it's Google's, and the majority of Android-powered phones and tablets have "Unknown sources" and "USB debugging" switches that explicitly allow homebrew. This report on a forum [ps3trophies.com] claims that Xperia Play, like most Android-powered devices not sold by AT&T, is expect

    • "So the stats come, our average customer is a woman about 30-s early 40-s, has 2 point 3 children on average. I interrupted him. I said, don't give me the average, give me the extremes, the average will take care of itself naturally"

      You do realize that THAT is exactly where N-Gage came from? The very extreme value on the curve representing a normal distribution of mobile phone users.

      If you are a gamer enough that you'd want your phone to come with a thick joystick pad, wouldn't you rather go the extra inch, and get yourself a separate PSP, that is the solid experience, and then some phone, as you need.

      But if you are a gamer looking for a new "smart" phone, and along comes such a phone by a major manufacturer of phones AND game consoles, and such phone happens to also be a dedicated gaming console...
      Yeah... you're absolutely right.
      You should instead buy 3 iPhones and an iPad (make that 2 iPads), and 5 iPods and you'd be all set. I mean... we all know that

      • by Golddess (1361003)
        I agree. It would be great to have a single portable device for both gaming and making phone calls, so long as it's a gaming device that can also make phone calls instead of a phone that can also play games (*cough*n-gage*cough*). My only question though, can it play UMDs? Not seeing anything one way or the other on that.

        And you should always have your gadgets completely separated. [...] one for a flashlight, one for a fleshlight...

        I lol'd.

    • I, for one, am lookin forward to building mobile phone games that can handle real joystick input.

      Real question is, how's this going to work with the Android API? Special input class? Does anybody know?

      Oh, and, um... fuck Sony, BTW.
    • I may be wrong about this, but I don't think the PSP runs NES, SNES, Genesis or Gameboy games, does it? If you're into older stuff, an Android phone with a gamepad is a fantastic proposition...

  • by TheRedDuke (1734262) on Friday February 18, 2011 @07:52PM (#35249988)
    This is about two years too late, Sony. And while you were busy trying to pedal the Go, your chief competitor was putting tens of millions of their units in consumers' hands and building an impressive library of inexpensive games.

    Oh, just got a phone call on my iPhone. Nokia and Palm want to know if you're free tonight.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by geekoid (135745)

      Android is the number one platforms for smartphones. It pushed out Nokia. Your little toy phone wasn't even a contender.

      • by Salvo (8037)

        Android is the most common, not necessary most popular.
        Would you say that Windows is more popular than Mac OS X, or only more common.

        Android's current ubiquity is mainly because of Saturation of the US Market with cheap/free handsets. In other countries, WM7, Symbian and Android are equal competitors, vying for sales when iPhones are out-of-stock.

        • by tuppe666 (904118)
          LOL the reality is Android is the most popular, Selling WOLDWIDE twice that of the iPhone. You can argue many things about Android, but it is the No.1 smartphone platform and growing, and it is because of the massive advantage of "fragmentation". You simply cannot buy a iPhone with a built-in unique input device.
        • by Patch86 (1465427)

          There's a difference between "popular" and "best". That's always been known. The most popular films are not the best films, the best music is not the most popular. A Ford Focus is more popular than a Ferrari Enzo (for a variety of reasons, not least of which is price); doesn't necessarily make it the better car.

          Android is more popular than iOS. That might be because there are more Android products to choose from, or it might be because of the price, or it might or might not be seen as the better designed or

    • by Threni (635302)

      Not really. It's an Android phone (yeah, I know - you're probably as confused as I am that Sony didn't follow Nokia and go down the "Microsoft Kin v2" route.). So there's already a bunch of games/apps out there. Hopefully this will provide the same spur to other manufacturers to come up with some improvements to their own phones with regard to games that the HTC Desire/Nexus One did around a year ago.

  • Why the hell would I buy some Sony POS that they are liable to brick or not let me make calls on if it doesn't have updated firmware every 2 weeks. Sony can lick my fat sack. I *almost* lifted my 10 year ban on Sony products and bought a PS3 prior to Christmas, bought an Xbox instead. Boy am I ever glad I stuck to my guns.
  • N-GAGE 2 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by allusionist (983106) on Friday February 18, 2011 @08:06PM (#35250098)

    So it's a new N-Gage.

    And Sony thinks that THIS TIME it will be successful? They really have lost touch with reality.

    • Re:N-GAGE 2 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by chuckymonkey (1059244) <charles,d,burton&gmail,com> on Friday February 18, 2011 @09:07PM (#35250738) Journal
      Except that they're opening with a nice library of games from playstation, something a lot of people remember fondly. They also have a nice framework for gaming programmers to use to make new games. The phone is also useful outside of being a gaming device, it runs Android something a lot of people are already invested in. So, this is more value add than anything else. You can use all the apps you already have on your Android device, play games that were on Playstation which so many remember fondly, and have a very powerful and useful smartphone. No, this is not another N-Gage, if anything the Playstation framework is a "killer" app.
      • by Salvo (8037)

        The problem with N-Gage and PSP is that they try to be Portable Gaming for Hard-Core Gamers. The truth is, Hard-Core Gamers would rather sit at their Overclocked PC, or in front of their X-Box or PS3 to play their Hard-Core Games.
        Casual Gamers are the only people who play games on their phone.

        Speaking of Casual Games. My 5-year-old Niece loaded all the (free) games onto her iPod Touch. Her father loaded lots of free games onto an old iPhone 3G. His new Android doesn't have any games on it, because he can't

        • by cgenman (325138)

          The problem with the N-Gage was that it was an incredibly poorly designed piece of junk. Talk like a taco? Have to pull out the battery to change the cartridge? You might as well have shipped each one with typhoid fever and a cue-cat.

          And the PSP has seen worldwide sales of 62 million units. It's not as over-the-top popular as the more innovative (and slightly cheaper) DS was, but it was by no means a failure.

      • by gozu (541069)

        No, the Killer app are the delicious controls that will allow non-casual games to be played.

        Battery life remains a huge problem though.

  • Disappointed :( (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Zelgadiss (213127) on Friday February 18, 2011 @08:09PM (#35250126)

    You have no idea how disappointed I was when I found out it couldn't play PSP games - that I thought it would be able to based on it's name.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Osgeld (1900440)

      why? some psp's dont even play psp games... and ... if you had not noticed with the many versions of the psp, sony is not that great about quality portable games, but strongly feels you need to rebuy all new cables / batteries every time they tweak it, or on the GO where they flat out said "eh just buy your games again if we feel like copying them to the website".

      • Sure, but that means it's still less functional than a PSP-Go, never mind a PSP-3000. It can't play PS2 games, it can't play PSP games, so that leaves you with what, PS1 games? Anyone who wanted to play PS1 games on a phone was already doing that thanks to some very good PS1 emulators and the fact that PS1 games are a dime a dozen (and easy to image).

        • Not to mention it's still missing 2 shoulder buttons so emulation won't be even be great the original playstation had 4 not two. This alone is enough to mess up a lot of the best ps1 games.

          I did want an ngp though it looked really good until I found out it had a sealed un replaceable battery guess I'll be skipping all Sonys offerings.

  • My Verizon contract will be up in ~18 months (July 2012) and by then maybe there will be a decent version of this. Unless I am remembering something else entirely there will a "framework" or whatever that will allow for these ExperiaPlay-whatever games to run on multiple devices. Like a runtime or DRM layer or something, I don't know. Anyway the point is if these things are improved in 18 months and it's still Android that does everything a normal android does I think I might consider one of these. Maybe th

  • by gearloos (816828) on Friday February 18, 2011 @08:47PM (#35250520)
    Use an OPEN OS, close the F%@K out of it, and sell it. Whay am I not surprised. As stated in post #1 F##K SONY and the Nintendo's success they rode in on
    • by Zelgadiss (213127)

      I regret to inform you that Android is only "open" to handset makers.

      Tivoization as it's finest.

      • by gearloos (816828)
        Hmm I seem to remember downloading a source bundle. I don't make handsets.
        • by Ixokai (443555)

          And you took that software and were able to update your Droid to the latest release whenever you wanted, right?

          If so, congratulations!

          If not, that's pretty much the definition of tivoization.

          Getting the source code is nice and all.

          Being able to USE the source ON any of your devices that run a previous version of it is what defines open and free.

          This, "Android is Open" thing is just sorta a lie to consumers. Fortunately, to most consumers they don't understand or care. Unfortunately, the consumers that shoul

  • Bah..it's a Sony - the vermin of the consumer electronics industry. There is no way they are getting another dime from me .... ever. If it was from a reputable vendor I might have been interested. Do you have to wait five minutes before you can make every call while it downloads new firmware to patch its in-built root-kit?

  • I'm sure that it will be n-gageing.

  • A phone that can play games, has a large screen, can likely store lots of music, that would have been cool in 2006 now its like welcome to the club. It will probably use some special Sony only sim & memory cards.
  • by fred fleenblat (463628) on Friday February 18, 2011 @09:35PM (#35250952) Homepage

    Is there some epidemic of compulsive gaming going on? Honestly, there's nothing wrong with playing some games at home on a PC or console, then stopping that and doing something else for a while.

    Go for a walk, hang out with friends, get something to eat, heck, even do homework or (gasp!) talk to your parents about life. It's okay, and possibly even healthy, to do non-twitch, non-adrenaline things while out and about each day.

  • Sony's a late entrant to a market for playing its own games on mobile. fpseCE has been available on WinMo forever, and has just been ported to android. Android already had psx4droid (even though it was slow, buggy, incompatible, the fps counter was bs, etc.) for quite some time. fpse plays all the original psx games (you know, the ones you already have, already paid for years ago, and don't feel like paying for again?), it's fast, compatible, looks great, and runs on ANY android phone. By releasing a sp
  • Why would you even want one... in a couple of months it could probably stop being a phone..... possible no service.... no texting... how can you even be sure that it will still play games?

  • Most of the big, expensive mobile games use a "virtual joystick" which I hate. I tried to get used to them in the diablo clone Dungeon Hunter, but I just couldn't. It was missing the tactile feedback that I need. If this thing takes off to any degree, then I hope it sets a precedent.
  • by muridae (966931) on Saturday February 19, 2011 @10:09AM (#35253434)

    We should have all learned of Sony's plan after the PS3. Sure, this phone runs android right now. They may even release it with android in the furture. But as soon as they figure out that people have android apps that Sony doesn't control, poof, and away it goes. At that point, we will be lucky if it still functions as a phone. Sony might try telling us that we only bought a piece of plastic, and they made no claim to it being either a phone or a gaming system, and to feel lucky that we get to keep the chunk of plastic we bought.

    But don't think of hacking that now useless piece of plastic!

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