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Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, a.k.a. the PlayStation Phone, hits Verizon on May 26

May 17, 2011 |  2:02 pm

Xperia-PLAY-490x480

Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play smartphone, which was dubbed the PlayStation Phone in rumors ahead of its official unveiling, is set to hit Verizon Wireless on May 26.

Pre-orders for the device, which features a sliding screen that reveals touch-sensitive directional pads and buttons for playing video games on the phone, begin May 19, Sony said.

The phone, which will run on a modified version of Google's Android Gingerbread operating system, will sell for $199.99 with a two-year contract.

The Xperia Play is the first "PlayStation certified smartphone," and will allow owners to download games for the device through both Google's Android Marketplace and Verizon's V Cast app store.

Seven games will come pre-loaded on the phone in the U.S.: Madden NFL 11, Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior, Asphalt 6: Adrenaline, The Sims 3, Star Battalion, Crash Bandicoot and Tetris.

More than 50 other games will be available via V Cast when the phone launches, Sony said.

Past PlayStation games will soon go on sale in the Android Marketplace, in the form of Android apps, and Sony will use Android as the OS to power its next portable PlayStation gaming console, currently nicknamed the NGP.

Sony hasn't said whether it will have the NGP, Xperia Play or future PlayStation certified phones use the recently relaunched PlayStation Network to buy games and apps, as is used on the PlayStation 3 video game console. 

The Xperia Play handset also features a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, a 4-inch touch screen, a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera and a VGA camera on the front for video chatting. The phone will also be able to connect to the Internet via 3G or Wi-Fi signals.

Below is a video from Sony Ericsson of the Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior game being demonstrated on the phone at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February.

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Sony doubles down on portable gaming, introduces NGP and games for Android

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

twitter.com/nateog

Image: Sony Ericsson Xperia Play smartphone. Credit: Sony Ericsson

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