By Marcus Leach

Sony Ericsson's XperiaTM PLAY, the latest phone in its XperiaTM range of Android based smartphones, has been released for sale and will be available as of Friday.

XperiaTM PLAY delivers the smartphone functionality that the most serious power users could need, teamed with the immersive gaming experience that any gamer would want.

In portrait mode, the Android smartphone offers all the benefits that users have come to expect from Sony Ericsson’s existing range of XperiaTM smartphones with best-in-class entertainment experiences, a great 5 megapixel camera, a brilliant 4” multi-touch screen and great social networking features.

However, slide out the gaming control and users enter a new world of immersive mobile gaming. The slide out game pad reveals a digital D pad, two analogue touch pads, two shoulder buttons and the four PlayStation icons: circle, cross, square and triangle. Qualcomm’s optimized Snapdragon processor with a 1Ghz CPU and ibedded Adreno GPU graphics processor deliver silky smooth 60fps play-back 3D mobile gaming and Web browsing with minimal power consumption so Xperia PLAY users can enjoy long hours of battery life and game time.

Rikko Sakaguchi, Executive Vice President and Chief Creation Officer at Sony Ericsson commented: “Today is a very proud moment for Sony Ericsson as we bring something truly revolutionary to the market. Living up to our vision of Communication Entertainment, Xperia PLAY will forever change the way people think about smartphones and mobile gaming.

Kazuo Hirai, President of Networked Products and Services Group at Sony Corporation said: "I am delighted to see Xperia PLAY as the first PlayStation Certified smartphone to hit the market. Xperia PLAY provides a unique consumer offering and is yet another example of great products and services coming to market that leverage Sony's strong assets."

A pre-loaded application will enable users to easily discover and download titles that have been optimised for game play on Xperia PLAY, access recently played games and see information about the games they have downloaded.