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Phones

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play is finally official with Facebook promo

After umpteen leaks, Sony Ericsson has confirmed that its Xperia Play -- aka the PlayStation Phone -- will be unveiled this weekend, with a Facebook page and Super Bowl ad already live.

The PlayStation Phone -- or Sony Ericsson Xperia Play as it's formally called -- has been the subject of constant leaks in the last couple of months. Now it's official, with Sony Ericsson confirming the device will make its debut on Sunday at Mobile World Congress.

Sony Ericsson chose Facebook rather than a traditional press release to reveal the news. A 'Next Level' tab on its Facebook fan page is devoted to the new device, with the slogan "Android is ready to play" and a photo of the device that will be familiar to anyone who's read any tech-related blog in recent weeks.

The page confirms the Xperia Play name, shows off an official PlayStation-certified logo at the bottom left of the slide-out keypad, and promises that the device will be "the next gamechanger from Sony Ericsson".

The Xperia Play was also showcased in an expensive TV ad shown during last night's Super Bowl in the US. The ad had already leaked online last week, but here it is in full. It's still very creepy.

Sony Ericsson hasn't published specs for the Xperia Play, but that doesn't really matter, since it's been in the hands of tech bloggers for a couple of weeks now. Thanks to them, we know the PlayStation Phone has a 4-inch 854x480-pixel screen, a 1GHz processor with 512MB of RAM, and runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

Meanwhile, video footage of the Xperia Play has revealed it to be a bit of a chunkster -- possibly a good thing for longer periods of gaming, even if it's not the sexiest smart phone on the block.

You can assume the device will run Sony's new PlayStation Suite service, meaning there will be a range of venerable PSone games available to download. What we're still waiting for details on, however, is whether the Xperia Play will also be able to run more modern PlayStation fare, such as PS2 (or at least PSP) quality games.

The announcement of PlayStation Suite took some of the shine off the Xperia Play, since we now know there will be many PlayStation phones in the next 12-18 months, not just one model. Sony Ericsson's device will be the first to go on sale though, and its actual release date is one of the few bits of information on the handset that have yet to be leaked. Roll on this Sunday, when we should be enlightened on that point.