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(Pocket-lint) - The Sony Ericsson Xperia Play won’t be launching on 1 April on Vodafone as previously planned Pocket-lint has learnt, but may still get a limited release on Friday.

"We can confirm that the Xperia PLAY handsets are still planned to launch in the UK for 1st April, as originally communicated. However, as of today, we have experienced a freight issue that may impact the number of Xperia PLAYs arriving at some retail outlets. This said, consumers can purchase Xperia PLAY as of April 1st at a number of stores across the UK," a spokesman for the company told Pocket-lint.

Those stores however don't include Vodafone who has emailed customers who’ve pre-ordered the new gaming phone dubbed by many as the PlayStation phone on Wednesday to break the bad news, a number of readers have told us. 

“An important update regarding your Sony Ericsson Xperia Play from Vodafone,” starts the email before adding the bad news:

“Sony Ericsson have [sic] advised us that they will not be able to supply the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play to meet the original launch date of 1 April. Unfortunately, this means there will be a small delay to your order. 

“We are working closely with Sony Ericsson to ensure your phone is delivered as soon as possible and we will be in touch again with specific timescales when we know more. 

“We appreciate this is disappointing and are doing our very best to resolve this as quickly as possible.”

The news is likely to be a massive blow to Sony Ericsson and its launch already marred by O2, who has pushed back the launch due to concerns that the software wasn’t up to scratch.

That’s not the case here however, Pocket-lint’s sources have confirmed.

The Vodafone delay isn’t down to software, but merely that the UK stock didn’t make the boat in time to get to the UK for 1 April. Oops.  

Our independent sources confirm Sony Ericsson's comments and suggest that Orange won’t have stock either, although we’ve yet to officially confirm this.

So when will the Xperia Play make it to the UK? Our people in the know aren’t 100 per cent sure, although those we’ve spoken to suggest that the delay is days rather than weeks.

Let’s hope they are right. 

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play: the games

Writing by Stuart Miles. Originally published on 16 April 2013.