Xperia Play finally coming to US next week

Posted by Mike Luttrell

Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play phone has finally been given a US release date.

The Play, which is more affectionately known by the moniker the "Playstation Phone," will be available in stores on May 26 exclusively through Verizon.

It will be priced at $200 for those who sign up for a new two-year service agreement, and will go up for pre-order on the Verizon website beginning May 19.

The device comes with a handful of exclusive mobile games, including ported Playstation One games like Crash Bandicoot. There are also dozens of other games available for download through an exclusive Xperia Play storefront.

The phone flips out like a standard texting phone, but instead of a Qwerty keypad, flipping out the screen reveals Playstation controls. The device is similar in size and feel to the PSPgo.

The Xperia Play was originally scheduled to be available in "very early Q2," according to a Sony Ericsson rep we spoke with in March, so consumers have been waiting since the beginning of April with no word on when it would actually be available.

It was released in Europe last month, but has opened with dismal sales. Some of the most high-profile downloadable titles have been downloaded less than 500 times.

In the US, though, there is a much stronger market potential, and by choosing Verizon as the exclusive carrier, there is a big consumer base.

The Xperia Play comes with Android 2.3, complete with mobile hotspot and Flash player functionality. It is not, however, compatible with Verizon's 4G network and will instead run on the carrier's 3G data service.