Hands on: PlayStation phone fom Sony Ericsson

Some 50 games, many of them classics from the PlayStation One, will be ready at launch (PICTURE COURTESY: TECHNOLOGY LIVE)

The Xperia Play, popularly known as the PlayStation Phone, is the star attraction at the Mobile World Congress. It will be available this Spring, announced Sony.

An Andriod phone, the Xperia Play has the slide-out keyboard replaced by slide-out PlayStation controls for easy gaming.

Some 50 games, many of them classics from the PlayStation One, will be ready at launch, according to Sony Ericsson, reported 'Technology Live'.

It can be bought from a virtual PlayStation shop, accessed via the Android Marketplace.

The Xperia Play isn't merely a PSP with phone functionality added on. It has been redesigned from the ground up. On the surface, it looks and acts like a respectable, regular touch-screen phone running Android 2.3, or Gingerbread. It wouldn't immediately tip your boss off to your status as a gamer. Wait until the boss goes out of the room, however, and you can slide out the panel with the game buttons. This has triggers on the back, and a pair of touchpads that act as joysticks.

The touchpads easier to handle than joysticks or the D-pad (arrow keys). And the screen remains touch-sensitive when in game mode. This means that games for the Xperia will have more kinds of input at their disposal than a Sony PSP, a Nintendo DS or an iPhone. For that matter it has more potential inputs than a PlayStation3, or any other console.

The Xperia Play designers deliberately left out an accelerometer, convinced that gamers don't want to swoop their phone around the room while playing.

Perhaps that was one input too many.

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