Roughly two months ago, Halfbrick - the company behind the infuriatingly addictive Fruit Ninja - released its latest and seemingly greatest Android game: Age of Zombies. The otherwise praiseworthy game had one major flaw, however - it was only available for Sony Ericsson's Xperia PLAY, which at the time wasn't widely available. This resulted in understandable disappointment and displeasure in the Android gaming community - our own Artem Russakovskii used the weekly app roundup to publicly express his desire to play (no pun intended) the game.
Facing massive infrastructure disruption caused by the earthquake and tsunami last month, Japanese manufacturer Sony has been forced to cut back production on all of its upcoming Xperia devices.
The Xperia PLAY and Arc are both going to be in short supply at launch, just how short Sony Ericsson will come up on shipments is unknown. This could be a massive blow to the much-hyped Xperia PLAY, which Sony has spent a bundle advertising here in the US and abroad.
Today is starting out pretty well - minutes ago, we finally got the HTC Thunderbolt kernel source, and now Sony Ericsson decided to lift our spirits even further via a blog post announcing their commitment to the Android development community. And a commitment it is - Sony Ericsson may just be the first large manufacturer truly listening to us.
Sure, Motorola unlocked the bootloader of the XOOM, and Samsung did the same to the Nexus S, but Sony Ericsson is promising to release versions of ALL Xperia phones with easily unlockable bootloaders, at least ones slated for 2011.
A couple of weeks ago at CES 2011, Sony Ericsson announced its latest Android handset - the sleek and sexy Gingerbread-running Xperia Arc. They've also invited the press, Android Police included, to attend a media breakfast where we ended up spending over an hour of quality time with the new device, documented in great detail here. If you have questions about the Arc, I highly recommend you dive into the above post, as it contains a plethora of useful bits and pieces, all wrapped in a convenient package.
Following on from their press release on Wednesday, Sony Ericsson invited the media this morning to a designated conference room at the Hard Rock Hotel for some play time with their newest Android device. We spent over an hour with the handset to get an idea of what to expect when it hits the market.
The reps there acknowledged the difficulties they had experienced with their previous Android handsets, and showed what appeared to be decisive commitment to putting those hold-ups behind them.
Sony Ericsson has always had upgrade issues when it came to Android - with the X10, the X10 Mini, and the X10 Mini Pro just recently receiving the update to Éclair (2.1), the majority of Xperia users have been deprived of the numerous features available in Android 2.x. Recently, with leaks of the Playstation Phone (a.k.a. Xperia Play) and the Anzu (a.k.a. X12), it has been made clear that Sony is most likely coming with back with a storm of devices with up-to-date firmware and its usual competitive hardware.
It seems the blogosphere is abuzz with the news that an EU trademark for the name Xperia Play has been awarded to Sony Ericsson, filed the first of the month.
Companies file for trademarks a lot, so we'll see if this name pans out. If it does, it'll quite possibly be the worst marketing decision by Sony Ericsson yet, and may indicate that the Sony mother-ship wants to reserve the Playstation phone name for a later, cooler, probably proprietary-OS device.