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$199 Xperia Play Launching In U.S. Next Week

$199 Xperia Play Launching In U.S. Next Week

May 17, 2011 | By Kyle Orland

After numerous delays, Sony Ericsson's first PlayStation-certified phone, the Xperia Play, is set to launch in the U.S. on May 26, with exclusive carrier Verizon Wireless taking pre-orders starting Thursday.

The Android 2.3-powered phone will cost $199 when purchased with a two-year Verizon contract that includes a $29.99/month data plan, and will come pre-loaded with seven titles:

* Asphalt 6: Adrenaline
* Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior
* Crash Bandicoot (PlayStation original)
* Madden NFL 11
* Star Battalion
* The Sims 3
* Tetris

A touchscreen on the Play slides up to reveal a standard PlayStation button and d-pad setup, along with two shoulder buttons a touch panel with indentations resembling a dual-analog stick setup.

An initial line-up of 50 downloadable games for the unit includes emulated versions of classic PlayStation titles and original titles made for the Play. Many Android titles have also been adapted for use with the phone's unique controls.

The long-rumored "PlayStation Phone," was officially revealed in a February Super bowl ad, and originally planned for a worldwide March rollout.

The phone launched across Europe in April, though British carrier O2 delayed support until unspecified software "bugs" could be fixed.

Sales for classic PlayStation titles available for the phone have been disappointing in the month or so since that Eurpoean launch, with many titles selling less than 100 copies and no single title surpassing 1,000 sales so far, according to public Android Marketplace data.

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