• Friday, November 15, 2013

      Xperia Play Review and Specs.

      It’s sad to hear Ericsson’s departure from the Sony bandwagon after Sony bought them out at a whooping 7.5 billion Swedish kroners which then put them in full control, however as sad as it may seem, Sony has plans of a bright future for their smartphones, and one amongst such is the plan to incorporate Playstation mobile to all their smartphones, something Sony is reluctant to do when Ericsson was still on board. The Xperia Play was Sony’s first venture alongside Ericsson to incorporate Playstation on a mobile phone and was in development since 2006, and as early as 2005 rumors about it has flooded the net along with concept photos of a Playstation phone, the wait just ended when Sony announced the release of the Xperia play in 2011.

      At first glance the Xperia play looks more like a PSP go especially the slide up design but the control schemes are a bit different from one another, although gamers worldwide would agree that both these devices are not comfortable to play and may strain your hands on hours of gameplay, bad ergonomics and crammed real estate are mostly the reason, the capacitive touch pad is a good idea but sadly it’s not that responsive. What the Xperia play lacks in comfort it will more than make up for its versatility, for one, it’s an android smartphone so it’s not locked on just gaming alone, the Xperia play can do pretty much all things without you having to grind your teeth in dismay, web browsing, facebook and twitter are some of the xperia play's stellar feature, since it's a smartphone it can also do all work related stuff, in which at that time no other gaming device could offer.

      Since it runs on android it can play both android games and Playstation games that are being thrown by Sony in the Playstation mobile store, unfortunately there are only few optimized games on google Playstore, though you can still play it using the touch interface as any normal android device would. The 4” inch screen is sharp enough and produces good color saturation which evidently, makes all the games look gorgeous, viewing angles are also OK.

      The Xperia play is made of glossy plastics and is susceptible to fingerprints and smudges, the front , the sides, the back, you name it you can stain it, I really hated Sony for creating a device that catches dirt and prints easily, however the Xperia play’s good built quality and over-all good looks can equally make up for it, although some consider the Xperia play as bulky, and here's what I gotta say, yes it is! but only if you think of it as a smartphone but as a handheld console with phone features, one can’t complain.

      The xperia play’s controller and button lay-outs are well arranged and looks absolutely fantastic, sadly it’s an ergonomic nightmare, Sony considers good looks rather than comfort on the xperia play and one couldn’t play long enough without suffering hand strains, for long gameplays you're better off with the touch screen, “try it and you’ll thank me.”

      The Xperia Play is powered by a Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon chipset with 1Ghz single core Scorpion processor, 512 mb of RAM, Adreno 205 GPU, and runs on android 2.3 gingerbread, Sony didn't bother a 4.0 update for a good reason "hardware limitations", but the snapdragon chipset is no slouch, for a single core processor it performs absolutely phenomenal, lags are barely noticeable and 3D games like Wild Blood plays well on the Xperia Play with full controller support, in some ways the raw processing power of the Xperia play fares better than most entry-level dual core smartphones.

      It's kinda ironic to see a Sony device with no proprietary Peripherals, as odd as it may seem the Xperia play uses a micro sd card for memory expansion and a micro USB port for charging and file transfer but sadly it starts and ends with the Xperia play, how I wish Sony consider this to all if not some of their future products, it's highly unlikely but hey! wishing is free.

      PROS: Capable gaming machine, good camera, no proprietary ports and media.

      CONS: Few optimized games, no game mapping software, uncomfortable to play.


      Size: 119 x 62 x 16 mm
      Weight: 175 grams
      Phone memory: 400 MB
      Memory card support: microSD™, up to 32 GB
      Memory card included: 8GB microSD™
      Operating system: Google™ Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
      Display: 4" inch TFT, 480x854 pixels, 245ppi, multi-touch
      Chipset: Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon
      Processor: 1Ghz Scorpion
      RAM: 512MB
      GPU: Adreno 205
      Camera: 5 megapixel rear with auto focus, LED flash, VGA front
      Proximity sensor
      Light sensor
      PSP-like controller with left and right touch pad.

      Tuesday, November 5, 2013

      Sony PSVITA Review and specs

      The PSVITA is by far the most advance handheld gaming device to date, in terms of graphics it's the closest thing you'll get to a PS3 and Xbox360 in the palm of your hands and the good news! Sony just gave the Vita another price drop -- In the previous years handheld gaming devices has had their worst competing with android, iOS, and 0.99 dollar games, not to mention the versatility of smartphones and tablets, which in turn resulted in poor sales. In retaliation, Sony gave the Vita other features that could cope-up with the demands of the new breed of gamers such as a dedicated web browser, new and innovative control schemes, online video services (Youtube, Netflix), SNS integration (facebook, twitter, Flickr) and the ability to multitask, it seems the strategy works, Sony's handheld to say the least, is slowly crawling out of the pit, with game titles you'll find nowhere but here in the Vita's library.

      The front is cluttered with numerous buttons and knobs but it is ergonomically arranged by Sony making the Vita one of the most comfortable handhelds to play with, even till day's end. The right thumb stick is a welcome improvement on the Vita and has set a benchmark in handheld gaming control schemes, with it games are much easier to control, giving gamers a real console like experience on the go, the Vita does support a wide array of control schemes like the rear touch pad, which at first feels awkward to use, and as far as my first experience with it goes it's hard to make precise hits, but as your learning curve improves you'll certainly go back for more, games like Uncharted The Golden Abyss make use of the Vita's all out control schemes.

      The Vita sports a quad-core processor (ARM cortex A9), a 512MB of RAM and a dedicated graphic processor, it's not as powerful as the latest android gaming device in terms of hardware specifications but the graphics are leaps and bounds better than any iOS and android games combined. Games does not only look good but also plays good as well, frame rate is at its best and lags are barely there, a feature in which an android device can only dream of, more so, the presence of a physical buttons optimized on each game and the experience of a real gaming console is something that the iOS and android could never fare, it remains a bragging right for owning a Vita.

      "It has 5 inch OLED display that will make any gamers salivate" games looks more vibrant than any other handhelds that are currently in the market and will more than make up for the amount of money you spent on the system and even the games itself, most importantly, newbies and core gamers alike will find the UI appealing and easy to navigate, in fact it is one of the best UI I've seen on a device, who ever designed it really deserves a "pat in the back" good job Sony.

      Enough of the good stuff! Sony may have pampered us with the Vita's excellent performance but underneath it is Sony's greedy attitude to make more money by simply forcing us to buy their over-priced proprietary media cards, as funny as it sounds the PSVITA doesn't come with a built-in memory, so you'll be forced to buy a Vita card to save your games and downloads, sadly, it doesn't come cheap the 16GB Vita card is almost the same price as that of a budget smartphone's, it's been really a pain in the neck as Sony continuously do this for more than a decade, they could have at least included a 1 gig Vita card in the box for game saves.

      The Vita features a front and rear camera for taking photos and videos, but the grainy resolution makes it more like a toy than a serious snapper also used in augmented reality games.

      The Vita's game library is still thinly stocked and the presence of must have triple "A" games are just a handful, most of them are just ports and remakes of an old game, however the Vita do have some few tricks up its sleeves "the cross play feature" it allows gamers to play their PS3 games on the Vita, also transfer game saves on both system, but sadly, there are only few games that are compatible with cross play, not to worry though, the PSVITA is still in its infancy stage and needs a little more time to mature, hopefully 2014 will be a good year for the Vita.

      PROS: Near PS3 graphics, dual thumbsticks, good ergonomics, SNS integration.

      CONS: Proprietary media cards and ports.


      CPU: ARM® Cortex™- A9 core (4 core)

      GPU: SGX543MP4+

      External Dimensions: Approx. 182.0 x 18.6 x 83.5mm (width x height x depth)
      (tentative, excludes largest projection)

      Screen: (Touch Screen) 5 inches (16:9), 960 x 544, Approx. 16 million colors, OLED Multi touch screen (capacitive type)

      Rear Touch Pad, Multi touch pad (capacitive type)

      Cameras: Front camera, Rear camera

      Sound: Built-in stereo speakers, Built-in microphone

      Sensors Six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope,three-axis accelerometer), Three-axis electronic compass

      Location: Built-in GPS

      Wi-Fi location service support

      Keys / Switches
      PS button
      Power button
      Directional buttons (Up/Down/Right/Left)
      Action buttons (Triangle, Circle, Cross, Square)
      Shoulder buttons (Right/Left)
      Right stick, Left stick
      START button, SELECT button
      Volume buttons (+/-)

      Wireless Communications:
      802.11b/g/n (n = 1x1)(Wi-Fi)(Infrastructure mode/Ad-hoc mode)
      Bluetooth® 2.1+EDR (A2DP/AVRCP/HSP)

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