It's hardly a surprise, but it's welcome news nonetheless: Sony Ericsson just announced the Xperia Play, also known as the PlayStation Phone. We're still waiting for the full specs on this PlayStation certified device, so be sure to check back here soon for all the official details!

Update: The Play will run Android 2.3 Gingerbread at launch, and will be compatible with 50 games, including such titles as Assassin's Creed, Guitar Hero, Dead Space, and Reckless Racing. Compatibility with PSOne games - presumably via the PlayStation Suite - is also in the pipelines.
Update 2: It's official: This spring, Verizon will become the first US carrier to offer the Xperia Play!
Update 3: Full specs include:
  • 1GHz Snapdragon processor
  • Qualcomm Adreno 205 graphics card
  • 4-inch LCD display
  • 5MP camera
  • Local area multiplayer gaming 

Three official videos as well as one full press release await you below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeLKznOP4uM

ATLANTA, Feb. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ - Are Americans ready to play? Sony Ericsson and Verizon Wireless think so. Sony Ericsson today announced that its new Xperia™ PLAY, the world's first PlayStation Certified smartphone, will be available on the Verizon Wireless Network in the Spring 2011.
"This Spring, expect to see a lot of people with their heads down and thumbs up," said Peter Farmer, Head of Marketing for North America, Sony Ericsson. "Xperia™ PLAY combined with the power of the Verizon Wireless network gives you everything you need in a smartphone and the one thing you want – the ultimate gaming experience."
Xperia™ PLAY is powered by the latest version of the Android platform (Gingerbread version 2.3) – and is PlayStation certified, which ensures an optimized gaming experience featuring content from the PlayStation Suite. Xperia™ PLAY will provide a best-in-class gaming experience right out of the box with many of the most popular games pre-loaded, including Asphalt Adrenaline 6, Bruce Lee, Star Battalion, The Sims 3, and Tetris. More than 50 additional titles from top franchises at leading game publishers will be available for purchase at launch.
"Working with Sony Ericsson to bring the world's first PlayStation Certified smartphone to the nation's most reliable network builds on our commitment to deliver the best mobile gaming and entertainment experience to our customers," said Jeff Dietel, vice president-marketing for Verizon Wireless.
According to the Entertainment Software Association's 2010 consumer survey, in the United States:
67 percent of households play computer or video games
42 percent of heads of households report they play games on wireless devices, up from 20 percent in 2002
The average game player age is 34 and 40 percent of game players are women
Facebook users can enter the First2Play contest and could be one of the first 10 people to get the Xperia™ PLAY by visiting www.facebook.com/SEUSA.
Sony Ericsson Xperia™ PLAY Key Features:
PlayStation Certified gaming experience
Latest version of the Android platform (Gingerbread version 2.3)
60fps play-back enabled through the Snapdragon 1Ghz processor, optimized with enhanced graphical processor unit the Adreno 205
Dedicated gaming controls for real console quality game play, including four-way directional keys, recognizable ABCD keys with PlayStation iconography, left/right shoulder keys and two analog touch inputs for joystick action
4-inch brilliant multi-touch display
5.0 megapixel camera

Update 4: T-Mobile UK just confirmed that it will be carrying the Xperia Play starting this April.