Other titles, such as EA’s soccer title “FIFA 10” and Gameloft’s high-speed racing game “Asphalt 6” run well with little graphical or speed complaints and excellent controls, thanks to the built-in gamepad.

Battery life tends to be where the Xperia Play chokes. Our usage scenarios saw us pulling it from charge at 8am, playing some games, making a phone call or two, texting, Tweeting, and listening to music over wired headphones. This is a typical day for us, and the battery conked out by 3pm. We tried improving this by turning off Bluetooth, but that gave only an hour more. When we enjoyed more gaming – around two hours – the battery died even earlier.

Of course, battery life will be less of an issue if you steer clear of any anything multimedia, web, or games based.

It’s a minor point, but one worth making – the power button. On a standard phone, positioning the power on/off button at the top right corner makes a lot of sense. But the moment you get into a game, you’ll find your hands holding the controller and pressing hard in this area, with the result being that we frequently put the phone into standby mid-game. Seriously, it happened a unfunny number of times during our review session.

Conclusion

Before the Xperia Play, only one company had tried a video game phone. Nokia’s N-Gage, however, was barely a good phone, let alone a phone with a good video game system.

Sony, however, has achieved excellent things with its first run at a PlayStation phone, and that’s a pleasant surprise. If you’re a fan of the Sony gaming catalogue, you’ll enjoy the convergence on offer here.


Sony Ericsson Xperia Play
Price (RRP): $TBA Manufacturer: Sony Ericsson
It's a PlayStation phone!; One of the best stereo speakers on a mobile device; Runs the latest Google Android - 2.3 Gingerbread;
Multimedia play kills battery life ; Touchscreen can be fiddly; Placement of power button can interrupt gameplay
Overall
Features
Performance
Ease of Use
Design
3.7Overall Score
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