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Playstation Phone Shows Promise But Execution Is Vital

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Playstation Phone Shows Promise But Execution Is Vital

By Tony Cripps, Ovum principal analyst

"Sony Ericsson's new Android 2.3-powered Xperia Play smartphone certainly packs a punch on the hardware front - especially its 60fps, 3D-capable Adreno GPU - but there's potentially a lot more riding on this device than its ability to bring high-end gaming to the smartphone space.

"Unlike previous Sony brand extensions to mobile, which were rather more utilitarian in outlook - such as Sony Ericsson's music and media-oriented Walkman phones and Cybershot camera and imaging-led handsets - the PlayStation brand has much more of a tech savvy, connected and leading edge image.

"As such it represents perhaps Sony's greatest opportunity to re-establish itself as a leading brand in the connected and (more especially) the "extended" home market.

Here it was a pioneer but the company has looked increasingly flat-footed in the wake of more aggressive - and, critically, more software savvy - rivals in the broad space such as Apple, Microsoft and increasingly Samsung. "The Xperia Play clearly needs to capture the imagination of gamers on its parent company's PlayStation console - especially in terms of creating shared experiences across TV and mobile gaming.

But it must also tempt the wider smartphone-buying market with Sony's vision of a joined up, multi-screen applications and content experience beyond gaming. "Success could help re-establish Sony (and Sony Ericsson) as pioneers of new technology-led user behaviours and use cases. Failure could see the once-leading consumer electronic brand become an also ran in an increasingly vertically-integrated world."

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