Verizon’s Sony Xperia Play Gets The Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread Update

Verizon and Sony have started rolling out a new software update for the Xperia Play (R800i) in the United States. If any Xperia Play owners are expecting that this update brings Ice Cream Sandwich to their handset, since Sony has already started rolling out the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for some of its Xperia branded handsets then get ready for some disappointment.

The software update carrying the version number 4.0.2.E.0.57 brings Android 2.3.4 to the handset, along with certain new features including the ability to record videos in 720p resolution and bug fixes. Yes, Android 2.3.4 when Sony is releasing Ice Cream Sandwich to Xperia owners in rest of the world.

Below is the change-log of the update -:


  • Verizon Wireless Video on Demand now comes preloaded.
  • Improved user experience and new delivery method of preloaded games.
  • When connected via Bluetooth®, the Music Player now supports Fast Forward and Rewind.
  • VZ Navigator® has been updated with the latest 3D map improvements.

Device Operation

  • Upgraded to Gingerbread 2.3.4 operating system.
  • A long-press of the power button will successfully capture a screen shot.
  • Charging issues forcing device to remain in landscape mode have been resolved.
  • Recommended contacts now populate correctly when using the dialpad.
  • Camera Improvements:
    • Right trigger successfully captures a picture.
    • Record video in 720p with continuous auto-focus.
  • Device is now enabled with the Wireless Emergency Alerting System.
  • Mobile Hotspot ID broadcast can be turned off to increase security.
Sony had rolled out a similar update for the global version of the Xperia Play back in late November last year. I am not really sure what kind of testing the Verizon testers were doing that it took them nearly 6months to roll-out the same update.

FIFA 12 Now Available As a Xperia Play Exclusive!

Sony Ericsson unveiled the one of its kind Android powered gaming phone, the Xperia Play, back at MWC this year. The phone comes with a   dedicated gamepad, and is aimed at serious gamers. The internals of the phone were seemingly dated, and have played a major hand in the lackluster sale of the handset.

Nevertheless, Sony had promised that with time the Play will get some exclusive games. The company stuck to its word and released some exclusive games for the handset like Minecraft etc. Now, joining the list of exclusive games for the Xperia Play is EA Mobile’s FIFA 12. EA had previously launched some exclusive titles on the Play as well like Battlefield and Need For Speed.

Being an Xperia Play exclusive, the game is optimized to take advantage of the phone’s gamepad. The game is also available for other Xperia handsets like the Xperia Arc, Arc S, Neo and Pro handsets. Xperia Play owners can download FIFA 12 for free until early 2012 as a part of Sony Ericsson’s Get In The Game’ promotion.

Sony Ericsson Confirms Its 2011 Range of Xperia Handsets Will Get the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Update

Sony Ericsson has confirmed in a blog post that their 2011 range of Xperia handsets will be getting the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update.  The 2011 range of Xperia handsets include the Arc S, Arc, Play, Neo, Neo V, Xperia Mini, Mini Pro, Xperia Active, Xperia Ray and the recently released Live with Walkman. The company did not mention as to when the update will be available for the handsets. Users should not expect the update to be available anytime before early next year.

All Sony Ericsson handset owners out there will definitely appreciate this move from the company. It is also nice to see that Sony Ericsson have learnt from their mistakes in the past. The company was heavily criticized for launching the Xperia X10 back in 2010 with an outdated version of Android, and then taking ages release the Android 2.1 Éclair update. Finally the company stop providing further Android updates for the phone, while the handset was clearly powerful enough to run Android 2.2 FroYo and Android 2.3. After a lot of  criticism, the company did a U-turn and released the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the X10, but only for the unlocked and un-branded variants.

Nevertheless, it is nice to see Sony improving on its disastrous image of Android OS updates for their handsets. Now, only if the company could match other Android manufacturers in terms of raw hardware specifications!


Android 2.3.4 Update Rolling Out For 2011 Range Of Xperia Handsets

Sony Ericsson has officially announced that it has started rolling out a new software update for its 2011 range of Xperia branded handsets. In fact, the roll out of the update started last week itself.


The new software update brings Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread to all Xperia handsets, along with some other enhancements. For Xperia phones with a front camera, Sony Ericsson has included the latest version of Google Talk, with video chatting capabilities. The Facebook Inside Xperia feature has also been enhanced with features like app sharing, liking an app etc.

The update also brings 3D sweep panorama functionality to the handsets. Post the software update, Xperia owners would also be able to use their phone as a mobile-PC by connecting USB peripherals via the Sony Ericsson LiveDock. Other features which Xperia owners can enjoy post the update include swipe like text-input, and ability to take screenshots.

The update also enables 720p HD recording on the Xperia Play. Surprisingly, the official change-log from Sony Ericsson does not state anything about this feature. At the moment, the update is being rolled out in the Nordic countries only. The 2011 range of Xperia handsets include Arc, Neo, Ray and the Play.

AT&T’s Sony Ericsson Xperia Play 4G Announced; Releasing On September 18

Sony Ericsson has just announced the Xperia Play 4G, which is headed to AT&T’s network. Don’t be fooled by the ‘4G’ tag though; the Xperia Play 4G is exactly the same as European version of the Play, and the Verizon’s version as well.

This means the Xperia Play 4G still sports the same 1GHz Scorpion processor from Qualcomm, and an Adreno 205 GPU. There is also 512MB of RAM, along with 400MB of internal storage on-board. Compared to the recent dual-core offerings from other Android manufacturers, the Xperia Play 4G hardware definitely feels old.

Other key specs of the Play include a 4-inch FWVGA (854×480) screen, quality stereo speakers, 5MP camera at the back and a VGA camera in the front, and the usual Wi-Fi, GPS with A-GPS and a bunch of other sensors and connectivity features. The main highlight of the Xperia Play is its PSP like gamepad, which is bound to attract die-hard gamers.

A point to note here is that the Xperia Play 4G, unlike its 4G moniker, does not support AT&T’s true  upcoming  4G LTE support. Instead, it supports its current so called 4G network, HSDPA+.

The handset runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and features Facebook Inside Xperia as well.  The Xperia Play is also the first PlayStation Certified phone in the world, and will come with seven games pre-loaded including Dungeon Defenders, Asphalt 6, Star Battalion, Madden NFL, The Sims 3, Tower Bloxx and Crash Bandicoot.

AT&T owners can get their hands on the Xperia Play 4G in an exclusive “Stealth Blue” color for only $49.99, after a two-year contract. The phone will hit the retail stores on September 18.


Sony Ericsson’s 2011 Range of Xperia Devices To Get Android 2.3.4 Update in October

Along with the Sony Ericsson Neo V, the company also announced that the 2011 range of Xperia handsets will be getting a new firmware update, sometime in October this year.


The new firmware update will bring some new features along with a minor bump in the Android OS version to 2.3.4. With the Android 2.3.4 update, Xperia handsets users with a front-facing cam will also get to enjoy Google Talk with video chat functionality. The Facebook inside Xperia feature will also be enhanced with this update, by providing users ability to share apps and games through Facebook.

There is also a new 3D Sweep panorama feature, which will allow users to watch images in 3D by connecting the phone to a 3D TV using the HDMI output.

Below is the whole change-log of the update-:

  • Xperiaâ„¢ smartphones to be upgraded to the 2.3.4 version of the Gingerbread platform with new features including Google Talk with Video Chat for smartphones with front-facing cameras
  • Updated Facebook inside Xperiaâ„¢ functionality for enhanced like, share and discover abilities
  • Xperiaâ„¢ smartphones introducing world’s first 3D sweep panorama functionality powered by Sony.
  • The software upgrade enables consumers to turn their Xperia smartphone into a mini-mobile PC by connecting USB peripherals (mouse, keyboard or game controller) to Sony Ericsson LiveDockâ„¢ multimedia station. Connect the smartphone to a TV via HDMI to get a big screen experience.
  • Swipe text input –   text input by swiping the finger from one letter to the next
  • Screen capture – allows the user to share a screen grab from anywhere in the phone.

The last firmware update for all the Xperia handsets also brought a host of new features, including xLoud and themes support. It looks like Sony Ericsson has finally learnt from its previous mistake, and knows that timely software updates also play a major role in a handset’s success.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, Play and Neo Get A Software Update

Sony Ericsson has started rolling out a new software update for three of its Xperia branded handsets the Xperia Play, Neo and Arc. The software update does not bump the Android version to 2.3.4, but brings a host of welcomed features.


First and foremost, the software update adds a Themes’ section to the handset. There are five themes already pre-installed. Each theme is based on a specific color found on the Sony Ericsson logo. SE has also added xLOUD’ feature, which boost the volume of the speaker. I tried this feature on my Arc, and enabling xLOUD just increased the treble a bit.

Another feature which this software update brings is stereo quality audio recording in HD videos on the Arc and the Neo. The core apps found on these apps have also been updated. The Gallery and Music Player apps have also got minor UI enhancements, along with the launcher which now supports landscape mode. The usual performance and stability improvements are also on-board.

Sony Ericsson is slowly rolling out the update to all the Xperia handsets out there, so please be patient before you get the update via OTA.

Sony Ericsson Announces Qriocity Video Service

Sony Ericsson has just announced a new video service for their 2011 range of Xperia branded phones Qriocity.


This new video service will allow Xperia users to buy or rent movies and/or TV shows aired on NBC, International Television Distribution, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Home, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and Warner Bros. etc. Users will have access to all the latest TV shows and movies,   along with an extensive back catalogue.

Initially, Sony will launch the service on only two handsets the Xperia Mini and the Mini Pro and in nine countries, which include Japan, U.K, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Canada and United States. Other Xperia handsets (Arc, Pro, Play, Acro, Neo) will get the service later this year via a software update.

With Qriocity, Sony Ericsson aims to compete with the big G’s Movie rental service, and HTC’s Watch service. The blog post from Sony does not mention anything about the average rental price of the TV shows and movies, and the duration you can rent them for. Ultimately, whichever service is cheaper will win.

Verizon Offers Sony Ericsson Xperia Play For Just $99.99

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play is the company’s most popular Android phone and the world’s first PlayStation certified smartphone. This device was announced at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2011 in Barcelona. It runs on the latest Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Operating System and comes with a 4 inch capacitive multi-touch display, 1 GHz Scorpion ARMv7 processor, 5 megapixel camera and much more. This handset was released in the US, exclusively for the Verizon Wireless customers. The Xperia Play ships with 7 amazing games including Madden NFL 11, Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior, Asphalt 6: Adrenaline, The Sims 3, Star Battalion, Crash Bandicoot and Tetris.

xperia play discount verizon

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play features a 4 inch capacitive multi-touch display with 480 x 854 pixels resolution, 1 GHz Scorpion ARMv7 processor, Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS, slide-out gaming keypad, 5 megapixel camera with auto-focus and flash, VGA front facing camera for video calling, PlayNow service, USB 2.0, Wi-Fi Connectivity, Sony Ericsson Music player and more.

Other features include a 3.5 mm audio jack, 400 MB internal memory, microSD card slot, 8 GB microSD card included, up to 32 GB expandable memory, Gesture gaming, Motion gaming, aGPS, DLNA Certified, Micro USB, Android Market, Android Cloud to Device messaging, Bluetooth stereo (A2DP), up to 8 hrs 25 min talk-time, up to 425 hrs standby time, up to 5 hrs 35 min game play time, up to 30 hrs 35 min music playback and a 1500 mAh battery.

This handset was originally priced at $199.99 with a 2 year contract, but Verizon recently reduced the price of this device. Now, you can get the amazing Xperia Play smartphone for just $99.99 with a new two-year service agreement. You will also need to subscribe to a Verizon Wireless Nationwide Talk plan and a smartphone data package starting at $39.99/month and $29.99/month respectively. To buy this handset, just head over to this page.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play To Get 20+ Games; Including 10 Exclusive Titles!

In a press release, Sony Ericsson has announced that more than 20 games are coming to the Xperia Play. All these 20+ games will be optimized for the Play, and 10 games will be exclusive to the handset.

The list of games which will be exclusive to the Xperia Play includes :

  • Minecraftâ„¢ by Mojang
  • Battlefield Bad Company 2 by Electronic Arts
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6 Shadow Vanguard by Gameloft
  • Desert Winds by Southend Interactive
  • Ruined by Bigpoint
  • Icebreakerâ„¢ by NaturalMotion
  • Sleepy Jack by SilverTree Media
  • Cracking Sands by Polarbit
  • Armageddon Squadron 2 by Polarbit
  • An unnamed fighting game from Khaeon Gamestudio

Below is a video of Minecraft running on the Xperia Play :

Other games which will be optimized for the Play but not exclusive to it are :

  • Pocket Legends by Spacetime Studios
  • Star Legends: The Black Star Chronicles by Spacetime Studios
  • Eternal Legacy by Gameloft
  • Guns ‘n’Glory 2 by HandyGames
  • Dungeon Hunter 2 by Gameloft
  • Pocket RPG by Crescent Moon Games
  • D.A.R.K. developed by Gamelab
  • Samurai II: Vengeance by MADFINGER Games
  • Vendetta Online by Guild Software
  • Order & Chaos Gameloft
  • Happy Vikings by Handy Games
  • A Ball Game by Trendy Entertainment
  • Lumines by Connect2Media

As you can see from the list above, the Play is definitely getting some popular games like Minecraft, Battlefield Bad Company 2 and Armageddon etc. All these games are slated to hit the Xperia Play in the coming months!

Sony Ericsson will be giving a demo of most of these games at their stand in E3. The company will also reveal more information about these games during E3.