Sony Ericsson's Android-powered PlayStation gaming phone, the Xperia PLAY, made its US debut this evening at the Gaming Developer Conference in San Francisco.
Sony Ericsson also revealed that the PLAY will be the official mobile phone for Major League Gaming (MLG), North America's official pro video games league. MLG attracts about 40 million gamers and represents some of the top professional gamers in the world. The fact that a mobile phone is now counted as a medium for competitive gaming is a huge step for Android game developers.
Another exciting piece of news for gamers is that the Havok software development suite will be available to Android developers. This is the first time the cross-platform SDK, which is currently available to Xbox, Wii and Playstation develops, will be available for Android. Havok's technology is behind titles such as Halo's Reach, Asassin's Creed: Brotherhood, and Fallout: New Vegas.
We already got a chance to play with the Xperia Play at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last month. While the display is impressive and the controls seem solid, the phone's body feels a bit flimsy and plasticky. It is also unfortunate that it's not a 4G phone, as a 3G network isn't likely to produce the upload speed necessary to play multiplayer online games smoothly.
The PLAY will be coming to the US on Verizon and to Canada on Rogers, though pricing and availability have not yet been announced.