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Sony Ericsson announces new PlayStation smartphone

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Mobile buzz from Barcelona
  • Sony Ericsson has announced it will launch its PlayStation smartphone in March
  • The based XperiaTM PLAY will feature 50 games including "Guitar Hero" and "Assassin's Creed"
  • The phone will be available in U.S. stores by April through provider Verizon Wireless

(CNN) -- Sony Ericsson announced Sunday it will launch its highly anticipated PlayStation smartphone in March.

The gamer-focused XperiaTM PLAY smartphone will run on Google's Android operating platform and features a four-inch multi-touch screen as well as a slide out PlayStation-style game pad.

Sony Ericsson CEO and President Bert Nordberg, who made the announcement at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, admitted the technology has been a long time in the making.

"Even if the dream has been there a long time, in the industry it's taken some time to get everyone there," he told CNN.

Sony Ericsson PlayStation smartphone
Even if the dream has been there a long time, in the industry it's taken some time to get everyone there.
--Sony Ericsson CEO and President Bert Nordberg

"This phone is worth nothing without the game publishers and game companies, so to build all that takes time."

Sony will partner with leading video game publishers and will launch with 50 games, including Ubisoft's "Assassin's Creed" and "Splinter Cell," Activision's "Guitar Hero" and EA's "Need For Speed," "Sims 3" and "FIFA 10."

The new android smartphone is part of Sony Ericsson's bid to take back market share of the mobile gaming environment dominated by Apple.

"It's a door opener to new customers," said Nordberg. "We started our android journey on April 1 last year, we have taken 40% market share in nine months and still counting."

Nordberg admitted the last few years has been tough for the company, but confirmed they were now making a healthy profit.

"We made money last year, four consecutive quarters of profit. Two years before that, it was not that profitable, but this year we're there and we think we can do even better in 2011."

Nordberg said the XperiaTM PLAY would hit U.S. stores in April and be sold through provider Verizon Wireless. Although he refused to name a price he said it would be a "subsidized phone" when purchased through a subscription.

Jim Boulden contributed to this report.


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