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Is Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play a Verizon exclusive?

The combo smartphone-game player will be unveiled this weekend at Mobile World Congress, but one retailer has apparently spilled the beans about its U.S. carrier.

Xperia Play will be officially unveiled this weekend.
The Xperia Play will be officially unveiled this weekend. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Update, 10:21 a.m. PT: After this story was posted, Wirefly updated its Web site to show that the Xperia Play's carrier is "to be determined," and all mentions of Verizon Wireless have been removed.

Will the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play--a combination smartphone/game player and one of the worst-kept secrets in tech circles--be coming to Verizon Wireless when it launches later this year?

Wirefly, a mobile phone and service retailer, recently posted a detailed comparison of the Xperia Play and iPhone 4 on its site. Although Wirefly didn't provide a launch date, the retailer specified that Sony Ericsson's device will be coming to Verizon Wireless. However, that reference has since been removed.

For its part, Sony hasn't said which carrier it will use for the Xperia Play in the United States. It hasn't even confirmed that the smartphone will be coming to the U.S.

In an e-mailed statement to CNET, a Sony Ericsson representative declined to comment on Wirefly's assertion.

The Xperia Play has been one of the worst-kept secrets in the tech arena over the last several months. Images of the device started to leak last year, and videos of the smartphone in action continued to crop up.

According to Wirefly's comparison page, the device features Android 2.3, a 4-inch display, front- and rear-facing cameras, and a 1GHz processor. The smartphone is also designed to play video games, thanks to a slide-out keyboard that reveals a D-pad and the familiar PlayStation controller buttons.

Sony Ericsson plans to unveil the Xperia Play on Sunday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. However, several service providers in the U.K., including O2 and Three, jumped the gun and announced that they will be carrying the smartphone. U.K.-based Pocket-Lint reported earlier this week that Vodafone, T-Mobile U.K., and Orange will also be carrying the device.

It's also worth noting that CNET Senior Editor Kent German, who covers smartphones, is skeptical about the Xperia Play coming to Verizon's network since, he pointed out, Sony hasn't offered a CDMA phone in several years.

So far, Verizon has been tight-lipped about the Xperia Play. The company did not immediately respond to request for comment.

(Via Engadget)