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PlayStation Suite coming to Tegra-powered Android devices this year

Sony logoSony’s PlayStation Suite is coming to NVIDIA Tegra-powered Android phones and tablets later this year. The news comes straight from an announcement posted in the graphics adapter manufacturer’s Tegra Zone app (via Android and Me), which also reveals that there is a plan to eventually release PlayStation 2 games for mobile devices through Sony’s software framework.

In case you’ve not read much about it, think of PlayStation Suite as a sort of portable PlayStation Network Store, providing downloadable gaming content from Sony for devices which meet the so-far-unannounced “PlayStation Certified” requirements. Although Suite is considered “hardware-neutral” — meaning it is not tied to any specific piece of technology the way Apple’s App Store is — this is the first indication that it will be available on something other than Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Play, the so-called “PlayStation Phone.”

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The “hardware-neutral” status means that a wider range of supported devices was expected and today’s news confirms it, though there’s no mention of exactly which devices will qualify as “PlayStation Certified.” NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 sports a dual-core processor — the company also has a couple of quad-cores in the works — which makes it ideal for bringing console-quality gaming experiences to the world of mobile devices.

No date was given for when PS2 games might be arriving, though it’s a safe bet that they’ll probably be held back until quad-core mobile processors are more readily available. Support for PSOne games had already been confirmed with the previous announcement of PlayStation Suite alongside the Xperia Play, and it looks like Wild Arms, Cool Boarders and Syphon Filter are expected to launch this year.

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Minecraft’s limited edition Xperia Play listed on eBay for charity
minecrafts limited edition xperia play listed on ebay for charity xperiaplayminecraft

Have you been waiting for a Minecraft themed phone? Well today is your lucky day, you can buy a limited edition Minecraft themed Xperia Play on eBay. The phone is clad in one of the games famous pixelated blocks of dirt. Currently the device is going for $1,400 with six days and change remaining on the auction.
Mojang, the maker of Minecraft, listed the phone on eBay, and is donating the proceeds to charity. In the auction’s description it explains that every time they give out free stuff they find it on eBay, so they wanted to beat people to the punch. Mojang is planning on giving away a few of the limited edition phones to a handful of lucky winners at Gamescom, which is a video game conference in Germany.
As you may know, Minecraft is coming to Android devices, and it just so happens that the Xperia Play is the first phone that can play the Minecraft. Eventually the game will come to other handsets, but it will be exclusive on the Play for a short time.
Mojang does not explain why Mojang styled the phone in the way that it did, but we don’t think it is necessarily a good design choice. Maybe it could have put on the new monster that recently started terrorizing the world of Minecraft? That would have at least had a darker and less brown look to the phone, but we are not professional phone designers.
What do you think about the look of this limited edition phone?

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Uh oh: Verizon drops price of Sony’s Xperia Play to $100

The PlayStation phone may already be on its way out. Today, Verizon cut the price of the Sony Ericsson phone from $200 to $100 with a two-year contract (via Phandroid). Despite having graphics that exceed the Sony PSP, running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and featuring a complete slide-out Sony gamepad, the Xperia Play may not be selling well. While phone prices often drop within six months and many phones don't even stay on the market longer than that, the Play was a high profile launch from Sony and represented its first major collaboration with Verizon in some time.
Reviewing the Xperia Play, our own Nick Mokey was impressed with the attempt, but found the phone to be a bit bulky due to the keyboard.
"If you want the most gaming-friendly Android phone, this is it. But don’t cancel your PSP Go purchase just yet," writes Mokey. "The first “PlayStation-certified” phone is only a handheld gaming console in the same way a bicycle with an engine bolted onto it is a motorcycle – the difference is all in the details. With compromised controls, a small library of available titles that work with them and sometimes lukewarm controller integration on the games that do, the Xperia Play has a ways to go before any real gamer would swap a PSP or Nintendo DS for it. Even so, we have to give Sony Ericsson credit for adding game controls to an Android handset without destroying its credibility as a phone. Unless the bulk bothers you, the sacrifices made for hard game controls are quite livable, making the Xperia Play a worthy consideration for smartphones gamers sick of swiping at glass."
Of course, any lack of sales is speculation on our part. This price drop could simply be a planned promotional discount. In any case, if you're a heavy gamer and were considering an Xperia Play, there is no better time to pick one up. Sony claims that more PlayStation compatible devices will be coming in the future, and the PS Vita will have some form of connectivity, but for now, this is it. Still, we can't help but wonder if Sony won't give it another go with a 4G LTE version of the Play. Now that might get us excited.

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Android version of Minecraft to be a timed exclusive for Xperia Play

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.

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