Gaming on smartphones is getting a lot better in regards to graphics, speeds, and quality of the games we see on our devices. BlackBerry was one of the first devices that featured early titles in the Final Fantasy Series in the BlackBerry App World; iOS was always gaining new and familiar game titles ranging from RPGs to virtual board games; and later Android developers came up with some pretty sweet emulation programs to run ROMs from different systems and games (but of course you can only download ROMs of games you own a physical copy of, because we are all about being legal here). But the train doesn’t stop there, because Sony took smartphone gaming to a whole new level and did what Sony had been doing best and created a smartphone with hardware that was made for gaming – the Xperia Play.
When the Sony Xperia Play was announced, it seemed that the device would be the Holy Grail of smartphone gaming. Unfortunately while the idea of the device was one that could have easily had a following from those interested in gaming, the other aspect of the device- you know, the phone – was lacking in both updates and specs.
The phone was running on a single-core processor, something that was phasing out at the time as phones with dual-core processors were just coming into the picture; a faster processor is something that the Play and its games could have benefited from greatly. The Xperia Play was running on Android version 2.3 (Gingerbread), which was good at the time but was never updated to Ice Cream Sandwich. The device also had a cheap plastic feel to it, something that Sony as of late has addressed with its newer models from the Xperia line.
So this is where the Xperia Z comes in and saves the day. Basically, I think Sony should take the specs (or something similar) from the Xperia Z and incorporate it into an updated version of the Xperia Play. With all the specs that the Xperia Z offers, and with a few tweaks like running on an Nvidia Tegra 4 processor and slapping on a slide out PlayStation remote on the hardware (+5 if it’s removable) you’ve got yourself a beast of a gaming/mobile device hybrid.
I realize this is probably just a dream vision. I was very interested in the Sony Xperia Play, but it was never to be offered on Sprint and the device wasn’t amazing enough in its entirety to jump ship. I imagine that holding on to carrier exclusives (it was only available on Verizon Wireless) didn’t help sales much either. While that method might have worked for something like the Apple iPhone on its launch, this device is specifically tailored for a demographic of gamers whereas the iPhone was for anyone. It’s a good idea, but definitely a hard sell under mediocre specs, especially since the device doesn’t cater to everybody in the first place.
Even if Sony doesn’t do it (although I think it would be best) I would like to see any manufacturer have another stab at a phone that is specifically tailored for gaming. Angry Birds and Where’s My Water? are okay games, but I wouldn’t mind playing some really interesting graphic-intense games on my phone. I imagine it’s only a matter of time before another one is released, but the questions remain: who and when?
What about you, readers? Would you be interested in a device that offered up-to-date specs and was built for gaming? Let me know what you think!