Sony‘s fabled PlayStation Phone, the Xperia Play, will be in the retail wilds for anyone to fiddle with by the end of this week. It’s not exactly the PSP-turned-phone that some had hoped for, but it’s a powerful little mobile device with a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor and a top-shelf Adreno 205 GPU. It ships with an assortment of games already installed (including Tetris!) and it’s the first phone to support the PlayStation Suite. It’s a gaming device-as-phone, even if the PSP can still run circles around it in the hardware department. It’s also going to be the first phone that you can officially play Mojang’s popular PC game Minecraft on.
The developer tipped Gamasutra with the news, revealing that Minecraft will be available as a timed exclusive on the Play. There’s no words on how long the window will remain open for or when it will open to begin with, but the game will come to other Android platforms, as well as iOS, at some point after the Play release. Mojang also confirmed that the initial release is designed to take advantage of the Sony phone’s game controls, which are modeled after the company’s DUALSHOCK controller.
Obviously more device-specific customization will be required once the exclusivity ends since the Play’s gamepad-like interface is unique to the device. Most other smartphones and mobile platforms rely exclusively on touch-based input. As Mojang told Gamasutra, “When playing on smartphones you will have a different screen size compared to PC, different hardware, different attention spans and thus the game needs to be customised to fit the mobile specifications.” A Sony Ericsson event is planned for E3, so more details will presumably emerge then.