Monday, 11 April 2011

Gaming Smartphones: The Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY VS. Microsoft Windows Phone 7 - Which One Is Better For YOU?


It is all too easy to think that the definition of handheld gaming is only restricted to the 'big name' handheld consoles (such as the Nintendo DS and 3DS consoles, or the Sony PSP,) but in truth, mobile phones with gaming apps have also proven to be very popular over the past few years.

Mini Gamers takes a look at the two newest forms of gaming smartphones on the market - Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 and the Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY, and examines what they each have to offer the handheld gaming community.

Xperia PLAY

The Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY phone (AKA 'Playstation Phone') is the first ever Smartphone to use intergrated Playstation technology, and is the first of Sony's new devices to use the new Playstation Suite. It sounds amazing.  However, let us now take a look at the individual specifications of the Xperia PLAY:


The Xperia PLAY is a slider mobile phone, which closely resembles the PSP Go in many respects. It features the familiar Playstation D-pad buttons on the right-hand side of the phone, as well as a rectangular touchpad in the centre of the phone. The left, right, up and down directional buttons are situated on the left-hand side.

The Xperia PLAY also features a 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, a 5 megapixel camera, and it supports microSD cards, as opposed to the Memory Sticks used in the PSP consoles. Most importantly, the new Xperia PLAY phone will be using the new Gingerbread (Android 2.3) Operating System.


The Xperia PLAY can access various downloaded Sony titles via Sony's new Playstation Suite. It also features its own dedicated version of Android Market.

 The Xperia PLAY currently features some older Playstation One titles as well as newer PSP titles such as God of War and LittleBigPlanet, amongst others. There are also plans to add some Augmented Reality titles like Invizamals in the future as well.

Networks and Price:

The Xperia PLAY is available from O2, Vodafone, T-MobileOrange and Three in the UK, and Verizon in the US. Monthly Contract prices vary, but the Xperia PLAY is usually between around £400 pounds on a pay-as-you-go tariff.

Please note, however, that some retailers are currently experiencing delays in their stocks of the new Xperia PLAY phone.

Windows Phone 7

 Microsoft Windows Phone 7 is a complete Multimedia device all wrapped up in a single mobile phone. Aimed both at business professionals and gamers alike, this nifty little gadget is an interesting addition to the current Smartphone market.


Windows Phone 7 features a 5 megapixel camera, 8 GB of flash memory and 256MB of RAM, it also features an ARMv7 Cortex processor.


 The phone features several different applications, including its own version of Internet Explorer . Furthermore, the phone features a Zune entertainment application, which controls the users music, video and picture files, and allows for syncronisation between the phone and a PC. The phone also has a Bing mobile search engine and even a mobile version of Microsoft Office Suite.

The phone also features several Xbox Live games. Xbox Live on Windows Phone 7  attempts to bring console-quality gaming experience to phones, and even allows users to create their own 3D Avatar. When gamers access the in-built Games Hub, they can interact with their avatar, view gamer scores and leaderboards,  and message their Xbox Live friends, amongst other things.

Fifty Xbox Live games have been announced for the Windows Phone 7, including: De Blob,
 Assassin's Creed: Alta├»r's Chronicles, Full House Poker, as well as many other exclusive Windows Phone 7 titles.

Networks and Price:

O2, Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone, and Three have all announced that they would stock the Windows Phone 7. There are several different models to chose from.

 Again, prices vary depending on what mobile monthly contract package you prefer, but the phone is available from around £400 on a Pay-As-You-Go tariff.


Both of these gaming phones have a lot to offer their customers. Both phones are equally expensive and cost almost double what a standard handheld console would normally cost. Nevertheless, they both contain extra applications which does help to justify the cost a little.

So, which phone is better for you? Well, the truth is, this is a very subjective question. It depends on exactly what you are looking for in a mobile phone.

If you are looking for a Smartphone which is purely centred on gaming, then the Sony-Ericsson Xperia PLAY is probably the right phone for you. It lets gamers play a range of top-quality Playstation games and a range of Android market games on the go. It does have links to Social Networking Sites such as Twitter and Facebook, but is primarily aimed at gamers as its main clientele.

If, on the other hand, you want a phone which features high-quality games, but also allows for other standard computer functions such as creating and accessing Microsoft Office document, then Windows Phone 7 is more likely to suit your needs. There are also a wide choice of  handsets to choose from.

Windows Phone 7 contains a lot of different useful office applications, and is the only mobile device to feature Xbox Live games.  However, unlike the Xperia PLAY, the Windows 7 Phone is not exclusively aimed at gamers as its core customer base.

At the end of the day, the choice about which phone is better ultimately comes down to you. Which phone would YOU choose?

From what we at Mini Gamers have seen, there are plenty of different monthly contract deals for both phones, to suit many different budgets. Shop around and see if you can find the deal that suits you best. Good luck!

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