PlayStation meets phone in Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, we go hands-on

Sony Ericsson has taken to the stage at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to announce the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, the much leaked and previewed PlayStation phone.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Play will be launching on the latest version of Android, Gingerbread, and will be the first Android device specifically focused on gaming, sporting a slide-out gaming controller. It will be the world’s first PlayStation certified smartphone, which is how the company is spinning it.

The slide-out controller will offer a four-way gaming directional controller and familiar PlayStation buttons, shoulder keys and two analogue touch inputs to give you that console-like feel.

Sony will also be offering exclusive gaming content through the PlayStation Suite, with one-touch access to top titles designed for Xperia Play.

It has a 4-inch capacitive touchscreen and under the hood you’ll find a 1GHz Scorpion ARMv7 processor, but only a single core variety, so it might not be able to keep pace with the likes of the dual core LG Optimus 2X. The 4-inch TFT, capacitive multi-touch screen offers up a typical 854 x 480 resolution.

There's a 3-axis accelerometer & e-compass, and it has a 5.1-megapixel AF main camera as well as a front facing VGA one.

It has previously been confirmed to us that the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play will be coming to Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone and Three in the UK.

Verizon has confirmed that it will be launching the handset in the States in March, so let's hope it hits our shores at the same time.

It's coming out in both black and white.

UPDATE: We've been playing with the Play some more, so we've added more pictures in the gallery below. Enjoy!

Don't miss out on the action - you can keep up to date with all the latest news from the show at our dedicated MWC 2011 page.