It’s game on for the “PlayStation phone” in the US this month, courtesy of Verizon. Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Play will cross the sea to North American shores starting May 26 with the carrier taking preorders online starting Thursday. The price with a two-year contract is set at $199.99 and you’ll be required to carry a voice and data plan.
The much-anticipated smartphone/gaming console runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread on a 1Ghz Snapdragon II processor and features a slide-out gamepad with familiar PlayStation controls. Perhaps best of all are the seven game titles that come pre-loaded on to the device: Madden NFL 11, Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior, Asphalt 6: Adrenaline, The Sims 3, Star Battalion, Crash Bandicoot and Tetris.
It’s been a bit of a hard road getting the gaming phone into the hands of actual gamers. Obviously, there were production delays tied to the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan, as well as software issues in the United Kingdom, and most recently, the company has admitted that a shipment of the devices to New Zealand was stolen and delayed the launch there, dismaying many kiwi gamers.
You may also have heard of a recent security hiccup with the Playstation Network that certainly dampened the enthusiasm of some expectant fans.
While hard-core gamers might be less than impressed with the pre-loaded titles on offer, the Xperia Play is an undeniable leap forward from gaming using a clunky smartphone touchscreen. Good news is that if Tetris doesn’t satiate your gaming urges, there’s 50 titles available for purchase via a V-Cast download.