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When Can Aussies Play The Xperia PLAY?

The Xperia PLAY, previously known as the PlayStation Phone, made its debut at GDC this afternoon and will launch in the US towards the end of March, but what about the Australian release date? And what carriers will support it?

After a quick chat with a Sony Global Marketing Manager, we were informed that the Xperia PLAY would be rolled out in the US and Western Europe in March. Australians could expect to see the phone make its debut between May and June, and it will be available across all carriers – including Telstra, Vodafone and 3.

We also managed to spend a good 15 minutes going hands on with the Xperia and left feeling quite impressed. The d-pad felt crisp, if a little clicky, and the analogue touch pads were far more responsive than I expected. I found that I could precisely control movement – not to the extent of a regular analogue stick of course, but definitely more precise than your usual shoehorned touch controls.

As you’d expect, Sony are hoping for a large gamer uptake when it comes to the Experia PLAY, and that was reflected by the partnerships announced at the conference, announcing deals with Major League Gaming, Havok and Unity.

“At MLG, we aim to showcase the latest technology that will benefit our community of gamers,” said Sundance DiGiovanni, CEO, MLG. “XperiaTM PLAY is an amazing smartphone and a stellar gaming device bringing the best mobile capabilities to our audience.”

David Coghlan, Managing Director of Havok praised the device.

“As part of Havok’s overall support for the AndroidTM platform, we are very pleased to partner with Sony Ericsson to put the full power of the Havok product line into the hands of XperiaTM PLAY developers. We were extremely impressed by the performance of the XperiaTM PLAY and the ease with which we were able to port and optimise our technology to the platform. This will enable developers to use Havok technology to create cinematic, rich 3-D immersive games for AndroidTM smartphones with XperiaTM PLAY in the forefront.”

More as we get it.