Sony Ericsson has said that it’s recently released Xperia Play, an Android-based phone with a slide-out PlayStation-like controller, isn’t at all like Nokia’s N-Gage – and won’t suffer the same fate. For those of you who don’t recall, the N-Gage was Nokia’s attempt to bring traditional gaming to mobile phones by shaping it like a controller, and releasing games for it on separately sold memory cards.
It failed horribly, not least because on top of a meagre collection of games, it required you to hold it it up to your ear sideways to talk, making you look like a loony trying to talk to god on a plastic taco.
"As you can see from the design of [the Xperia Play], when you hold it in portrait it’s a smartphone," said Sony-Ericsson’s Dom Neil-Dwyer, trying to convince us it’s totally different. "It’s not a game device that you can make some phone calls on, it’s a smartphone. When you’ve got the game keys hidden and you’re just holding it like that, people wouldn’t know what it is, but obviously when you pop it open it’s a great gaming device.â€
"The people that are going to be buying this are looking for something new. There’s just a sea of touchscreen devices out there and they’re looking for something cool. So that’s the type of consumer that we’re looking for. I bumped into someone here at E3 that had one and they’re exactly the type of person we’re targeting, which is a very cool, young person that wants something different, right? And that’s basically our target audience."
I actually like the idea of the Xperia Play (Mostly because it would be great for emulation). Its problem, really, is that it got lost in a sea of ever-evolving, Android devices and was out-dated before it even hit shelves. Some, like id’s John Carmack believe the same fate might threaten Sony’s new handheld, the PlayStation Vita; that it’ll soon be overshadowed by rapidly advancing smartphones.
I’ll admit, being the early-adopter that I am, that I owned an N-Gage, and actually bought most of its available games. Yeah, feel free to point and laugh. Any of you sporting an Xperia Play and care to let us know what you think of it?
Source : Gamasutra
Last Updated: July 5, 2011