Monday, July 18, 2011

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play Hands-On

So, I got my hands on an Xperia Play at the weekend and will get out some game reviews over the coming weeks. But first, some thoughts on the phone itself. Note, this isn't a full-bore review, just bits and pieces that spring to mind as I play with it and explore the Android and PlayStation features.

Plus Points:

  • Hardware: Really like the design. Yes, it is chunky but that gives it a solid feel. With the controls out, the Xperia Play does feel slightly cramped, so I wouldn't expect to play it for hours on end. 
  • Hardware: The screen is bright and great for gaming, with vivid detail, almost a shame that most games don't let you stop and enjoy the view often. 


Minus Points:

  • Hardware: Don't like the should button placing at all, they really need to be bigger. 
  • Sony: Dislike all the different store fronts and gaming locations - this stuff is so much easier on the iPhone.
  • Games: Developers seem to be putting the wrong features into mobile games, seeing way too many dialogue-heavy cut-scenes that get in the way of the actual game. 
  • Android Issues: Browser does a horrible jerky-font jitter when scaling in and out of sites. Yes, it does play Flash video, but its really jerky. Also the phone seems to drop my Wi-Fi connection a lot easier than the iPhone. 
  • Android Store: What a mess in comparison to the iOS stores. 

The Xperia Play I got to try out has now gone home, do I miss it? Unfortunately not at all. There was nothing exclusive enough or essential enough to make me want to fork out for one, even as the prices are crashing.

The majority of the Gameloft titles were very poor excuses for console rip-offs and not games trying to make the best of a mobile environment. The PlayStation content is laughable, almost a disgrace and while the Xperia Play is clearly, a powerful and capable little machine, it looks like no one has the desire or focus to do anything great with it.

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