But putting a game pad and a powerful Android smart phone in one package does place this phone on the chunky side. In our hands-on preview, we judged the 119 by 62 by 16mm Xperia Play "quite bulky".
We thought its controls felt comfortable, however, which is important when you're wearing down your thumbs to nubs playing games. The D-pad, buttons and shoulder keys all felt springy and responsive. Also, the touch-sensitive trackpads are a low-profile alternative to joysticks that we found really useful.
We're willing to sacrifice some slimness for good controls and gaming goodness. But the chunkiness has to be within reason.
With a prototype Xperia Play in our hot little hands, we've decided to pit the PlayStation phone against two of today's hottest mobiles to see how it stacks up, size-wise.
The 115 by 59 by 9mm iPhone 4 is the thinnest smart phone in shops right now, although thinner ones are on the way. The 123 by 68 by 12mm HTC Desire HD is a powerhouse with an enormous 4.3-inch screen, making it one of the biggest smart phones you can buy.
After seeing them together, the Xperia Play is definitely the plus-sized model. But, at 175g, it's not that heavy (compared to the iPhone's 137g and the HD's 164g), and it's still thin enough to fit comfortably in our pockets. We think if the Xperia Play is tickling your fancy, you need not fear its roundness. It's fully justified, considering the quality of its gaming controls.
Click the photo gallery above to see the Xperia Play go head to head with the iPhone 4 and Desire HD, and some other-sized objects.