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'PlayStation Phone' ready to launch
Sony Ericsson has added two new smartphones to its 'Xperia' line, the Arc and the Play. Both are launching this month in Canada.
Posted April 20, 2011
Sony Ericsson's new Xperia Arc and Xperia Play, launching this month, represent significant hardware upgrades from last year's critically maligned Xperia X10 smartphone.

The new Arc looks to endear the social networking crowd with an impressive 8.1 megapixel HD camera, complete with an improved CMOS sensor that enhances images and videos captured at night or in a low-light settings. It also sports a high resolution, multi-touch screen powered by the Bravia Engine of Sony flat panel TV fame.

The new Xperia Play, meanwhile, looks to capture a large swath of the mobile gamer segment. Loosely stated, it's the world's first PlayStation phone, certified as such and most notable for its slide-out gamepad in lieu of a slide-out keyboard. But more than just "a phone that plays PSP games," the Xperia Play is also loaded with a motion-sensing accelerometer along with a four-inch 16M-color TFT capacitive touchscreen, user-facing VGA camera (as well as a forward facing 5.1 megapixel camera) and a kick-stand for the whole kit and caboodle. Thus equipped, the Xperia Play allows for gaming not only in the tradition Sony's PlayStation Portable (PSP) system, but also akin to the Apple iPhone's tilt, twist and touch games.

What's more, both the Xperia Play and the Arc are powered by Google's latest Android operating system (2.3 or "Gingerbread" if you speak geek) so both are innately compatible with the 50 gazillion Android apps and games. The Play flexes further gaming muscles by also playing PlayStation-specific titles either refitted from its handheld cousin of developed specifically as Xperia Play games. For launch, there are dozens of such games developed specifically for the system - seven of which are pre-installed - with more expected down the pike.

In Canada, pre-orders for both devices are available now at Rogers Wireless with a launch date expected before the end of the month. Both phones are listed $99 with a 3 year data plan starting at $50 per month.

US availability has yet to be announced. "Really soon" would be a good guess.
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