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Xperia Play launch delayed by Vodafone and Three due to 'freight issues'

The two operators have both delayed their launch of the Xperia Play gaming phone, albeit not for the same bug-related reasons as O2.

Vodafone and Three have both delayed their launch of Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play gaming phone. O2 previously put back its own sale date for the device due to bugs in its software, but Vodafone and Three say their delay is due to a shortage of stock instead.

According to VG24/7, Vodafone sent an email to customers who had pre-ordered the Xperia Play. "Sony Ericsson have advised us that they will not be able to supply the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play to meet the original launch date of 1 April. Unfortunately, this means there will be a small delay to your order," explains the email.

"We are working closely with Sony Ericsson to ensure your phone is delivered as soon as possible, and we will be in touch again with specific timescales when we know more. We appreciate this is disappointing and are doing our very best to resolve this as quickly as possible."

Three told VG24/7 that it has delayed its launch of the device due to a stock shortage, but only until next week. Meanwhile, Sony Ericsson has issued a statement admitting to a problem, but stressing that the Xperia Play will still be available in some stores today.

"We can confirm that the Xperia Play handsets are still planned to launch in the UK for 1 April, as originally communicated. However, as of today, we have experienced a freight issue that may impact the number of Xperia Plays arriving at some retail outlets. This said, consumers can purchase Xperia Play as of 1 April at a number of stores across the UK," Sony Ericsson said.

Those outlets appear to include Orange, which is going ahead with its launch today. Still, the freight issue caps an unhappy month for Sony Ericsson. O2 pulled its launch of the Xperia Play after identifying software issues, which it's working with Sony Ericsson to fix before selling the phone to its customers. And, if you've read our review, you'll know that the gaming side of the phone leaves plenty to be desired.

Got your hands on an Xperia Play this morning? Let us know what you think in the comments section below or on our Facebook wall.