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Sony Ericsson Xperia Play coming to Verizon May 26

The long-awaited gaming smartphone from Sony Ericsson is coming to Verizon on May 26. Will you get the Xperia Play?

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play
Sony Ericsson Xperia Play Kent German/CNET

Already available in markets around the world, the highly anticipated Sony Ericsson Xperia Play is finally hitting the States, courtesy of Verizon Wireless, starting on May 26 for $199.99 with a two-year contract (requires voice and data plan). Preorders will begin on May 19 through the carrier's Web site.

Introduced back in February at Mobile World Congress, the Xperia Play will come preloaded with seven games: Madden NFL 11, Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior, Asphalt 6: Adrenalin, The Sims 3, Star Battalion, Crash Bandicoot, and Tetris. Customers can expand on that selection using the onboard V Cast Apps store, which will have a catalog of more than 50 game titles for download at launch.

Though mobile gaming is nothing new, using the touch screens on today's smartphones has presented some challenges for serious game play. Sony Ericsson hopes to make the task easier by offering physical buttons on the phone that emulate the PlayStation's controls, including four-way directional pads, a central touch pad, left and right shoulder buttons, and Select and Start keys.

Related links
• Sony Ericsson Xperia Play vs. Sony NGP
• Media and gaming on the Xperia Play (photos)

The Xperia Play is also a full-fledged smartphone, running Android 2.3 Gingerbread and featuring a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon II processor with an Adreno 205 GPU and a 5-megapixel camera as well as a front-facing VGA camera for video calls. The 3G-capable device can also be used as a mobile hot spot for up to five devices.

We anticipate getting one in soon for a full review, but CNET's Nicole Lee and Dan Ackerman have already had some hands-on time with the device. You can read Nicole's impressions here and Dan's here. Based on what you've read and seen so far of the Xperia Play, are you considering getting one? Let us know.