Mar 22nd, 2011

We mosied down to Verizon’s shindig last night and were surprised to see that their version of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play was on hand. Nothing was different hardware-wise except for the CDMA radios inside and Verizon’s branding, but there was a lot more to see in the software side.

I noticed all of the units running stock Android – I found this very odd considering even prototype models of the device had Sony Ericsson’s custom user interface sitting on top of it. I asked a representative from Big Red what was up with that and he was able to confirm to me that they’ll be offering a mostly-stock Gingerbread experience. It makes the device a lot smoother overall than the versions with Sony Ericsson’s UI.

Sony Ericsson will still have a few custom bits here and there such as their camera, Playstation suite and a few other applications, but the launcher and styling should all be just as stock as it can get. The device also had a few new games. I checked out Madden NFL 11 and Crash Bandicoot. No video, unfortunately, but I can tell you that a month makes a huge difference.

They’ve been optimizing the crap out of the device and the games play buttery smooth. I couldn’t tell with the newer titles as I hadn’t played them before, but I revisited my friend Bruce Lee and noticed a considerable upgrade in framerate since we last saw it in Barcelona. The device will come pre-installed with 6 games but they weren’t able to confirm which of these would be trials or full versions.

Verizon still hasn’t committed to a date or pricing but their general outlook is Spring so hang in there – we think this one will be worth the wait.

local_offer    Sony Ericsson  Verizon