How the Sony Xperia Play Works

First and foremost, the Xperia Play is a phone. It runs on the Android operating system and supports apps like any other smartphone. The phone went on sale May 26, 2011 in the United States with a $200 price point and a standard two-year Verizon contract. The Play supports 3G Internet connectivity like every modern smartphone [source: Verizon]. But beyond the communication basics, Sony Ericsson wants to distinguish the Xperia Play as a gaming device.
Sony Xperia Play
To drive home the Xperia Play’s gaming capabilities, Sony introduced a “PlayStation Certified” program for devices like the Play that will support classic game downloads through the PlayStation Suite. The Xperia Play may not sport the PlayStation name, but it can play emulated PlayStation games just like Sony’s PlayStation Vita handheld game system can.
Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Play represents a major shift that’s occurred in the video game industry since the launch of Apple’s iPhone in 2007. When Sony released the PlayStation Portable in 2004, video game handhelds offered a mobile gaming experience unrivaled by other areas of technology. But then the mobile landscape changed significantly. Phone hardware grew by leaps and bounds after the release of the iPhone, and in 2011, devices started adopting dual-core processors for even faster performance. A pair of CPUs performing operations at 1GHz absolutely dwarf the PSP’s 333MHz clock speed.
Though Sony and Nintendo are sticking to game-focused hardware with the PlayStation Vita and 3DS, hybrid devices like the Xperia Play may be the future of mobile gaming. Sony Ericsson engineered the Xperia Play to be in a unique position: It offers average smartphone hardware that’s capable of playing simple titles like “Angry Birds,” with the added advantage of buttons designed for more complex games.

Hardware Specifications

In 2011, the rapidly changing smartphone market introduced dual-core phones for the first time with devices like the Motorola Atrix and the LG Optimus 2X. While these phones ran at the same speed as many other smartphones on the market — 1GHz — they could handle more intensive processing tasks, thanks to an additional CPU core [source: Tested]. This change mimicked the advancements Intel made with dual-core and quad-core PC processors, but on a smaller scale. The Sony Xperia Play is not one of those dual-core devices. It’s not as cutting edge as it could be. Is that a problem? In the long term, maybe. But as of 2011, most Android phones aren’t dual-core, and games released in the Android Market are designed for phones equal to or slower than the Xperia Play.
The Xperia Play runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8255 system-on-a-chip, which pairs a single-core 1GHz ARM processor with an Adreno 205 GPU. Memory consists of 512MB of RAM and 400MB of internal phone memory and an 8GB microSD card for expandable storage. The processor and GPU power Android software on a 4-inch (4.2-centimeter) 854×480 capacitive LCD touch-screen display. We’ll cut through the techno babble: The Xperia Play offers pretty standard hardware for a 2011 smartphone, with expected features like accelerometers/gyroscopes, 802.11b/g/n WiFi support, GPS, Bluetooth and 3G on Verizon in the United States [source: Sony Ericsson].
Neither of the Xperia Play’s cameras break from the mold: The rear camera uses a 5 megapixel sensor and the front-facing webcam has a resolution of 1.3 megapixels. While the Qualcomm chipset used in the Xperia Play can support both GSM and CDMA wireless data networks — the systems used by AT&T and Verizon, respectively — the phone was released in the U.S. on Verizon’s CDMA network [source: Verizon]. Other carriers, like Rogers in Canada, make use of the GSM wireless data standard [source: Rogers].
Because the Xperia Play’s control pad slides out much like a keyboard, the phone is thicker than most non-sliding smartphones on the market at 0.6 inches (16 millimeters). It measures 4.7 inches by 2.4 inches (119 millimeters by 62 millimeters) and weighs a total of 6.2 ounces (175 grams) [source: Sony Ericsson]. Of course, that game pad is what separates the Play from the competition. While similar phone hardware is available in dozens of handsets, only PlayStation controllers offer the same buttons as the Xperia Play.

For more Detail: How the Sony Xperia Play Works

About The Author

Ibrar Ayyub

I am an experienced technical writer holding a Master's degree in computer science from BZU Multan, Pakistan University. With a background spanning various industries, particularly in home automation and engineering, I have honed my skills in crafting clear and concise content. Proficient in leveraging infographics and diagrams, I strive to simplify complex concepts for readers. My strength lies in thorough research and presenting information in a structured and logical format.

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