Sony has until now, released one alpha and one beta Ice Cream Sandwich ROM for the Xperia Arc S, Neo V and the Ray. While the alpha ROM was pretty much unusable, the beta ROM was much better and included some new features as well. However, the company also received a lot of requests from Xperia Play users to release a beta Ice Cream Sandwich ROM for their handset. Earlier today, Sony fulfilled their wish by releasing a beta ICS ROM for the handset. The new beta ROM contains a new Xperia launcher, along with the PlayStation app.
Like the beta ROM for the Arc S, Neo V and Ray, the beta ICS ROM for the Play also does not include Google Apps like Play Market, GMail etc. and the Wi-Fi connectivity feature has been disabled as well. Thankfully, it was just a matter of a few hours before the brilliant folks over at XDA managed to fix both these issues.
The steps to fix the above issues are pretty simple. Users need to fastboot a custom kernel with CWM to their Play, and then flash the Google Apps package along with this file to enable Wi-Fi. A detailed guide to hotboot a CWM kernel can be found here, along with all the relevant download links. The steps to install the beta ICS ROM have also been written in a very detailed manner over at their blog.
While Sony says that the above ROM is only for the GSM version of the Xperia Play, users have managed to get the ROM to work on the CDMA (R800i) variant of the handset as well. If you flashed the above ROM on your CDMA variant of the Xperia Play, and are facing network issues, flash this fix.
I will strongly advise newbies to stay away from flashing this beta ROM. Flashing the ROM requires you to unlock the bootloader of your handset, which in turns, voids the warranty of your handset. Unlocking the bootloader also means that your handset will not get any future OTA updates from Sony.