Sony's Long-Awaited PlayStation Phone Is A Big Letdown So Far [PHOTOS]

xperia play title image

Photo: Ellis Hamburger

Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Play just launched on Verizon Wireless for $199.99, and it’s supposed to be a gaming behemoth.We spent some time with the Xperia Play today, and we’ll have a full review coming next week.

Click here to check out our huge photos of the Xperia Play >

Until then, a quick breakdown of the Xperia Play:

Considering its self-imposed label as the first “PlayStation certified” smartphone, the Xperia Play’s hardware isn’t particularly powerful on the inside.

The Xperia has a capable 1 Ghz processor, but the 512 MB of RAM won’t last very long by today’s standards. Also, the 5.1 MP camera is weak and doesn’t even shoot 720p HD video.

But how is it for actual gaming?

On the outside, the buttons on the front and shoulder buttons on the back are similar to those on a PSP, except smaller, and there are also two circular touchpads in the middle.

The hardware buttons below the screen are really horrible, as is the power button on top.

We played Asphalt 6, a car racing game, for a few minutes and it was pretty fun, but the circular touchpads were basically useless. We were sliding all over the race track.

Using the D-Pad, we fared much better, and had a few nostalgic moments of playing Ridge Racer on a Sony PSP.

The screen is merely decent, and the graphics aren’t anything we haven’t seen before on an Android device or iPhone, so it’s starting to seem like the Xperia Play’s only killer feature is the set of buttons that make it possible to play PlayStation games.

Is the Xperia Play worth your money?

Keep your eyes peeled for our full review next week, but until then, check out some photos of the Xperia Play below.

The Xperia Play has four mushy-feeling hardware buttons on its front.

There's a VGA camera on the front for video chatting

When opened, the Xperia Play is a pretty good-looking device, but it's huge.

The Xperia Play feels nice in your hands. It has all the same buttons as a PSP.

Two shoulder buttons are on the top of the device. These buttons are not comfortable to use because they're small and close to the slide-out top.

When your thumbs are on the Xperia Play, the buttons feel smaller than on a Playstation controller, but they're still comfortable to press.

Here's the Xperia Play alongside an iPhone 4

The Xperia Play's back has a 5.1 MP camera, LED flash, and the tasty-looking Sony-Ericsson jewel we all love.

The Xperia Play's bottom half is thicker than an iPhone 4

At 16mm, the Xperia Play is almost twice as thick as the iPhone 4.

When slid closed, the Xperia Play is quite a bit thicker than an iPhone 4

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