Sony Ericsson Xperia Play now on pre-order

The official launch took place at the MWC event recently and since then, all talk has been about when the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play (aka the PlayStation Phone) will launch. The networks rushed to confirm they would be selling it, with one mentioning a loose date of 'April'. But has gone a step further, confirming both a date and a price.

The date for your sim-free model of the Xperia Play is 28th March, slightly earlier than thought, with the price for a pre-order model at £519.99. Yes, that is expensive, but if you already have a contract or want to shop around for a cheapie, going sim-free isn't necessarily more costly than a contract, which is likely to be a two-year tie in. Do the maths on £35 or £40 per month over 24 months and you'll get the idea.

For that outlay, you'll get to impress your mates with the very first PlayStation-certified phone, complete with slide-out gaming controls. But more than that, you'll get an Android Gingerbread 2.3 handset with 1Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, an embedded Adreno GPU graphics processor, a 5-megapixel camera with all the usual features and a 4-inch multi-touch screen. Not that you'll notice the camera and super-fast web browsing. You'll be too busy playing Need For Speed, Sims 3, the multiplayer version of FIFA 10, Guitar Hero, Assassin's Creed and Splinter Cell, all of which should be available in optimised form when the phone lands.

The network prices are likely to follow soon, we'll confirm as soon as we hear anything.

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