• Out of the box

    The pre-loaded games are Asphalt 6: Adrenaline HD, Bruce Lee, FIFA 2010, Star Battalion HD, The Sims 3 and the original PlayStation version of Crash Bandicoot that runs via a Sony PlayStation emulator. There’s also a copy of Tetris, played in portrait mode with only the touchscreen.

    Sony has recently clamped down on unofficial emulators on Android Market, so the PLAY is the only way to legally play the many classic games that will be sold for £3.99 each.

    They’re certainly fun, but they also look dated given the fact that the screen resolution is so high that the old games need to be scaled up. This serves as a reminder of just how far mobile phones, and screen technology, has advanced.

    Of the 50+ games available at launch, some appear to be rushed out. Some don’t show what keys are supported, while others refer to things like pressing ‘A’ and ‘B’, despite there being no A and B buttons on the pad. Too many games also require far too much use of the touchscreen and very little from the extra controls.

    These inconsistences will likely confuse and put off all but the most hardened gamers, so it begs the question: what are the rules imposed by Sony Ericsson to define what games can be included within the Xperia PLAY game store?

    It’s PLAY time

    Although set up like its own store, it’s really a front-end for Android Market, filtering the PLAY compatible content and allowing you to use your existing payment method to buy games.

    It’s early days and hopefully Sony Ericsson and the developers can get some consistency going to ensure the success of this and other PlayStation Certified devices in the future.

    If these issues sound trivial and you’re still keen to get your hands on the device, you surely won’t be disappointed.

    Once you have a game loaded, you realise how awesome having a gamepad is. Fiddling around with virtual on-screen joysticks that cover half the action, or tilting the phone all over the place, just can’t compare. For games like Bruce Lee and FIFA, there’s no way you could play them any other way.

    For this, the PLAY has no competition, but there is a price to pay. You’ll be needing to buy one with a two-year contract at £35 a month or more to walk out the shop with one at no cost.

    Games will cost around £6-7 each, according to Sony Ericsson, although hopefully a good number of games will be free, supported by in-game advertising.

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