Feb 15, 2011

Sony Xperia PLAY

With HandyGames' recent press release that I just posted, I figured I'd provide my take on the Xperia PLAY. I'm now at the point where I've had a cell phone for over a decade. My first phone was a Kyocera Palm based phone and the reason for getting it was so that I could be contacted 'on call'. Being a gamer I also liked the idea of being able to play where I wanted with a device that was already going to be coming along for the ride anyways. While my Palm phone had some decent games on it the experience was still worlds away from even that of a GameBoy. I then moved over to become a Windows CE adopter, but arcade games just weren't strong on mobile phones. The Nokia N-Gage was actually an interesting, but failed, attempt that I, fortunately, never purchased. Until recently it seemed that my perfect device just couldn't exist. And then the iPod Touch (and iPhone) changed that.

Actually another device called the Pandora caught my attention before the iPhone and I preordered in late 2008. The claim was that they were going to be shipping at the end of 2008. Dream device my a@@. These people, and I almost want to use the word crooks, had a 'problem' with the bank and they wanted to blame EVERYTHING regarding the device's many delays on the bank. In the end I got a refund, but only after exchange rates changed so in effect I lost money because they were grossly optimistic about when they would deliver product. In fact even today they are only barely starting to ship the device with specs from the year 2009. Now, with more recent devices, I'd say the Pandora is dead before it leaves the gates with the exception of a handful of groupies they seem to have brainwashed over at their website. Hey, I'm all for the little guy, but only if the little guy can honestly deliver what they promise.

One of the key features for the Pandora, though, was the control pad coupled with a keyboard. I'm a classic computer nut and I love the whole idea of emulating old video game consoles and computers so that I can play the games of my childhood. Yes, I'm very nostalgic. The Sony Xperia PLAY could actually be the first device to offer the kind of experience I'm looking for. It offers reasonably current hardware specs including a 1 GHz CPU and state of the art graphics along with quality gaming controls. On the down side I get nervous about further fragmentation of the Android Market. I know Sony claims to be planning on letting other phones get in on the whole Playstation Phone concept, but suppose it's really successful? Might Sony then tighten their grip on the platform? And I'm just not convinced that having a superset of games than only the elite Playstation Phone owners can access is the way to go and would much rather see more powerful, Android compatible hardware.

In the meantime Apple is doing all they can to help Android steal their market. First, it was the lack of Flash on Apple devices. Now Apple wants to ensure they get their 30% cut on all magazines, newspapers, ...etc that one subscribes to electronically. A closed platform will not be the consumer's best friend when all is said and done.

I've been wanting to upgrade phones (and jump ship from Verizon) for about a year now. The Epic 4G offered hope as I really want buttons for gaming (and a keyboard suffices), but poor support (i.e. no Froyo) has meant no sale to me. Now I may as well wait for something better and maybe the Xperia PLAY will be it.

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