Sony was among one of the first manufacturers to be completely transparent about bringing Ice Cream Sandwich to its devices. Throughout the process, the company has posted numerous entries on its blog regarding the process, where they were at with various devices, and even offered up downloads of the beta product for advanced users and developers to test out.

With the most recent post, however, comes a bit of bad news: the Xperia Play has been dropped from Sony's ICS upgrade path. According to Sony, "after extensive in house testing with [their] developer teams and working with [their] partners, [they] have concluded that a consistent and stable experience, particularly with gaming, cannot be guaranteed for this smartphone on Ice Cream Sandwich."

The post goes on to say that this claim has been further verified by the development community, including "both experienced developers and advanced users, along with game content providers following [the] ICS beta ROM for unlocked Xperia PLAY smartphones."

It appears everyone was in agreeance: the Xperia Play just can't handle ICS and maintain a stable experience. It's definitely unfortunate for Xperia Play owners, but I still commend Sony for stepping up to the plate and telling it like it is, instead of avoiding the issue for as long as possible.

In happier news, the 4.0.4 update should begin rolling out to unlocked arc, neo, mini, mini pro, active, and Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman devices next week.

For more information on this update, or to read the word on the Play directly from the source, head over to the Xperia product blog.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Mouahmong

    I wish all manufacturers were this honest and transparent as to why there won't be upgrades instead of feeding BS to the customer and just releasing another phone...

  • http://pctonic.net/ Ashutosh Mishra

    Memory is the issue here. 512MB RAM (of which ~ 350-400MB is usable) is simply not enough for a gaming phone, as ICS itself requires up to 200MB memory. I have experienced this problem on my Nexus S (which has similar specs as the Play) - ICS runs fairly well on the phone, but a couple of resource intensive apps (Facebook, Temple Run, Chrome Beta) quickly bring the phone to its knees. 

  • JonJJon

    I'm pleased to see Sony being as truthful as you are going to get from a large consumer technology company. They are showing that they are a company to buy from and I believe they are on the right track to getting back in the game on various fronts of their company. I hope they pull it off as I like a lot of their products and am considering getting a Sony phone as my next smartphone, highly so. Lets hope they keep getting better and better on quality, support and general business workings.

  • Chris Bozsik

    I bought an EVO 3D as a cheap mid-contract replacement to my Xperia X10 which just wasn't doing it anymore, but when my contract ends i am definitely buying another Sony phone. for Sony's first fortay into android phones they did a pretty nice job, and with a little push, supported the X10 up to 2.3.3.

  • Martin Nilsson

    Guys, now YOU forgot about the Pro. We are few but proud...

  • Jeffrey Gilbert

    in what world is agreeance a word?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      This one.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson
    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Technically it's obsolete, but it's still a word. So, to answer your question, in agreeance with Cam and Eric, this one.

  • Asphyx

    Well what this likely means is there will be a new gaming unit on the horizon that will solve the Memory and hardware issues coming out soon.

    • Jbowman1018

      That really depends more on how well the device sold and if there is still demand for that type of device. I personally liked the idea but I knew the specs werent going to cut it. If they wait untill they can put an A15 chip, 2 GB RAM, and a real nice 5 inch 720p screen they would have a winner. (IMO)

      • Asphyx

        They kept the specs low to keep the price down as they knew they were selling to a niche market.
        I expect they will up the specs at some point but they could possibly wait until they set what the next gen gaming consoles will be.

        I personally think the gaming phone is not the best way to go as Tabs are much better suited to them. Imagine a PSPAD that will play all the old PS3 games whenever they decide to release the PS4

  • Guest

    Worst purchase of last year for me, I bought it hoping I might be able to get ICS - as Sony was advertising at the time - and because I love the gamepad. Yah I understand it isn't a great experience, but I would really really like to get a better phone that can handle the better OS.

    • Holland, Frederik

      U couldn't agree with you more. I bought this phone,xperia play, also in the hope that it would get ICS, but instead they fuck me. Thanks Sony, greet job!
      Further I would like to say to everyone, don't buy the Xperia Play, it isn't what you think it is!

  • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

    It's unfortunate news, but considering how they've been pretty forthright with people and come clean on just about everything...I just can't help but think they're going to get very little bad press about this.  Xperia Play owners aren't going to be happy, but they probably aren't going to be yelling and wanting to throw their phone across the room either.  I think a lot of them are going to be far more likely to consider buying another Sony phone in the future unlike the relatively large defection that some manufacturers have experienced thanks to their own poor handling of updates; I'm pretty sure that both HTC and Samsung effectively traded a couple million customers each thanks to the Galaxy S and a couple of HTC's variants from the same time period.

  • Grizz

    Well, i hope they get a chance to build the next Nexus !

  • Richard Walton

    This is a total (probably not permitted to swear here) move by S/Fony. I
    bought my XP a couple of months ago because of the commitment given by
    SE to update it to ICS. To now cancel it with a half halfhearted beta
    release and an insincere statement is just typical Sony doing what they
    do best; alienating their few remaining customers foolish enough to
    place trust in them in the first place... count me on that idiot list.

    Is Sony seriously telling us that what they promised is actually
    technically impossible? its bs to suggest that they can't improve upon
    the supposed gaming problems. Lets say some of the problems can only be
    resolved by the publishers releasing an update or fix, if they do that
    down the line then great, otherwise the buck stops with the publisher.
    Its nonsense to suggest Sony would be slammed for that. What Sony is
    responsible for is updating its own games (PS/pocket Store), encouraging
    publishers to do the same, and fulfilling its commitments.

    Lets say that Sony can't (or more likely won't) release the promised ICS
    update, what's stopping them from releasing a value pack and the source
    code so that other devs can prove it possible and their own dev team
    just incompetent/unwilling. I mean, other than their long cherished
    stubbornness and couldn't give a damn attitude? Never mind, I guess I
    answered my own question.

    UK consumer law should now mean than I'm entitled to return my handset
    for a full refund, and I fully intend to do just that. I loved having a
    real gamepad to play my games with while maintaining the functionality
    of a mid-range smartphone., which needles to say beats the awkwardness
    of playing games by poking my fingers at the screen, but I'd frankly
    rather have all my fingers chopped off than keep a dead phone or buy
    another Sony product again. The only question left is what next, Samsung
    or Apple.


  • Richard Walton

    For those Xperia Play users our there, make sure Sony knows you won't forget this and won't just be walked over.


    Join the boycott. #SONYmakeforget

    • Markymark748

      I own an xperia play but I don't see the point boycotting. I ran the beta and most of the games I had no longer work. I am now on CM9 and they still don't work properly. They said it was because of gaming performance they cancelled the update so I don't think it was just to spite you but for the regular non techy people not to be up in arms about their games not working as they should.

  • TBS266

    This is ridiculous