Matthew Roszak

In The Press Blog

Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Playstation Phone to launch on Feb. 13

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| Devindra Hardawar

We’re one step closer to getting official details on Sony Ericsson’s Playstation phone, the Xperia Play. The company revealed yesterday that the Android phone will launch on February 13 during the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona.

Sony Ericsson debuted a dramatic (and creepy) commercial for the device during the Super Bowl yesterday (see below).

The Xperia Play’s big claim to fame is its slide-out gamepad, which takes the place of the sliding hardware keyboard many other phones feature. It will run Android 2.3 (code-named Gingerbread) and is the first Android device to focus completely on gaming. Of course, it’s still unclear what sorts of games it will be able to take advantage of, but Sony is expected to unveil some sort of digital game store with the device’s launch.

Together with Sony’s next-generation portable gaming console the NGP, the Xperia is a major play by Sony to compete with the iPhone’s surging popularity as a gaming device. It has a significant advantage by including a gamepad, whereas the iPhone (and other touchscreen phones) are stuck with games specifically created for touchscreen interfaces.

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