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By 7 February 2011 | Categories: news

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Rumours have been making the rounds for months that Sony and sister company Sony Ericsson was in the process of releasing a “PlayStation Phone”, a true amalgamation of a smartphone and gaming handheld. And during this weekend's Super Bowl in the United States, the device was officially unveiled.

According to PCWorld, an advertisement for the phone appeared during the Super Bowl game this Sunday, one of the most expensive advertisement slots available. The phone showed a back-alley surgical procedure being done on the Android mascot, fitting opposable thumbs to the little robot with the tagline, “Android is ready to play”, as well as showing some images of the phone.
 
No official specifications have been revealed for the Xperia Play thus far, but rumours indicate a 4.2” display, at least a 1 GHz processor and a 5 MP camera.
 
What we do know is that the phone has a touch-screen, will run on Android 2.3 and includes slide-out PlayStation controls in the form of the familiar PlayStation directional pad with the x, square, circle and triangle buttons.
 
The announcement is quite interesting, as it comes after Sony already unveiled its premium gaming handheld in the form of the NGP. This means that in addition to the “PSP2” and Nintendo 3DS doing battle in the handheld arena this year, the Xperia Play will also be attempting to make itself felt.
 
Hopefully the phone won't go the route of the ill-fated Nokia N-Gage gaming phone, but since it sports official PlayStation certification this shouldn't be very likely. Sony's backing means the platform should have a large stable of games and developers to choose from, we might even be seeing some backwards compatibility between the NGP and Xperia Play, but that remains to be seen.
 
No official specs, pricing or release dates have been unveiled yet, but we'll be keeping our eyes out for this new smartphone handheld.  

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