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Sony Ericsson admits Xperia Play "freight issue," Vodafone and 3 delay UK launch

Sony Ericsson has told VG247 that a "freight issue" may impact the number of Xperia Play handsets reaching the UK in time for its launch tomorrow, but insists it will still release as planned despite Vodafone pulling its launch for the device overnight.

"We can confirm that the Xperia PLAY handsets are still planned to launch in the UK for 1st April, as originally communicated," the company said to us in a statement this morning.

"However, as of today, we have experienced a freight issue that may impact the number of Xperia PLAYs arriving at some retail outlets. This said, consumers can purchase Xperia PLAY as of April 1st at a number of stores across the UK."

It comes as Vodafone sent out last night a customer notice, forwarded to VG247 by someone who had pre-ordered the handset from the network, confirming it wouldn't be able to provide any orders for tomorrow. An exact reason wasn't given, though.

"Sony Ericsson have advised us that they will not be able to supply the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play to meet the original launch date of 1 April. Unfortunately, this means there will be a small delay to your order," it reads.

"We are working closely with Sony Ericsson to ensure your phone is delivered as soon as possible and we will be in touch again with specific timescales when we know more. We appreciate this is disappointing and are doing our very best to resolve this as quickly as possible."

Vodafone had previously kicked off pre-orders nearly two weeks ago.

3 has told VG247 that it has also delayed its launch of Xperia Play until at least early next week, but admits it's due to stock-related issues, insisting that it has not experienced any problems or bugs with the software.

Orange, who are also providing the Play handset, has said, however, it still intends to go ahead with its launch tomorrow.

"We can confirm that Orange will be offering the Xperia Play from tomorrow," it told VG247 this afternoon in a statement

Last week, fellow UK provider O2 announced it had also delayed its release of Xperia Play, although mentioned it was down to a bug-related problem with the phone, adding it had "some bugs in the software that, if they’re not fixed, means customers won’t have a great experience."

Xperia Play is the first PlayStation-certified handset, and will feature Android Gingerbread support.

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