Xperia Play is a “phone first”

Tuesday, 5 July 2011 00:09 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Sony Ericsson’s Dom Neil-Dwyer has said the Xperia Play will succeed as a dedicated gaming-friendly smartphone where the N-Gage famously failed.

Gamasutra asked the Sony Ericsson representative why the N-Gage, which also sported gaming controls, failed.

“Because it wasn’t a smartphone, and it wasn’t a phone first,” he replied.

“As you can see from the design of [the Xperia Play], when you hold it in portrait it’s a smartphone. It’s not a game device that you can make some phone calls on, it’s a smartphone.

“When you’ve got the game keys hidden and you’re just holding it like that, people wouldn’t know what it is, but obviously when you pop it open it’s a great gaming device.”

Neil-Dwyer said the Xperia Play acts as a platform for monetising Android apps.

“The fact is I don’t even know how many apps there are on Android now. Two hundred thousand? I just read a report this week on who’s making money on Android, and people are finding it difficult to monetize.

“So if you can work with a manufacturer like ourselves, we give you the profile, we give you the audience, we give you the discoverability. We’re not asking for your game to be exclusive for a long period of time to Xperia Play, so at least we give a game a good start.

“And we think the experience is much better. So the game starts with a really kind of positive momentum and profile, and that’s my assumption of why they’re working with us.”

The most high-profile Xperia Play exclusivity deal is Minecraft, which will launch on Sony Ericsson’s system first, before spreading to other mobile devices.