Published on May 19th, 2015 | by Craig Forshey2
Why We Need Another Xperia Play
It’s been almost a half a decade since the now defunct Sony Ericsson brand produced its portable gaming console / Android smartphone hybrid the Xperia Play, but despite being woefully outdated compared to modern Android devices this little guy continues to provide one of the best portable gaming experiences i’ve ever had. There’s really been nothing like it since, a device that seamlessly blends the aesthetic of a portable gaming console with the guts of an Android smartphone in a way that eliminates the need to carry two handheld devices or an extra bluetooth controller everywhere you go in order to get a proper gaming fix, and that’s why we need another one. Stat.
Sure, there have been similar attempts such as the Nvidia Shield and a litany of import devices, but due to their lack of phone functionality none of those manage to successfully answer the question “Wouldn’t it be easier to just take a wireless gamepad with me instead?”.
You’d think by now that a single core 1ghz Snapdragon processor powered device would be all but useless for Android gaming, and when it comes to most modern graphically intensive games that is somewhat true, however the Xperia Play is still able to play a surprising amount of new titles such as the recently released Gunslugs 2, which when coupled with its stellar line up of exclusive launch games and the ability to emulate everything from Atari to the PSP makes it my perfect travelling companion and backup phone.
Let’s say i’m waiting at a bus stop and have a few minutes to spare playing my legally ripped copy of Rayman 2 on a Playstation emulator. With a wireless controller setup not only do I have to lug a bulky gamepad around with me but now I have to take the time to make sure my phone is clipped into place just right and disable any touchscreen controls I might have in place, wasting a good chunk of my precious few spare gaming moments and inconveniencing myself by having to take the gamepad everywhere I go. However with the Xperia Play all I have to do is slide out its keyboard inspired gamepad, hit a button, and i’m off to the races playing Rayman 2 complete with full analog stick controls.
But beyond its sheer utility and emulation prowess the Xperia Play showed that it is indeed possible for a true portable gaming console / phone to bridge the gap between the classic gamers’ two device conundrum, and it’s high time someone stepped up and delivered a successor. Such a device would not only be great to have, it could also be the very sort of thing we need if we want to start seeing Android further cement its place as perhaps the single most important gaming platform in history.