Sony Ericsson plans to show off at its MWC 2011 press conference -- leaks notwithstanding, the Xperia Play (aka PlayStation Phone) was unveiled and made quite official in a Super Bowl commercial. We're about to see it presented all over again, but we'll also get a chance to see what else the company has up its sleeve... and under its thumbs, of course. The event kicks off 6PM local time (that's noon ET), so join us promptly, won't ya?
1:39PM Okay, and now... that's it!
1:38PM Award winning games "enhanced for play" on the Xperia Play. Exclusive pre-loaded titles.
1:38PM Time for one final trailer about the Xperia Play.
1:36PM "That brings us to the end of the announcements this evening." We're getting a quick recap, then we're running to get hands on.
1:36PM Verizon in early Spring, the first US carrier to have the phone. Wow.
1:35PM US will be one of the first to enjoy. New partnership with SE and Verizon.
1:35PM Walker is up. "You've seen the product, you've seen the content." One more thing. Starts shipping from March!
1:34PM "Boom! It's a killer new form of entertainment." Please stop.
1:34PM It's a smartphone on the open system of Android. "Great franchises, new immersive games. Multiplayer, anytime, anywhere, with your friends."
1:33PM Unity technologies thanked. "They'll be ensuring a steady flow of premium content."
1:32PM PlayStation One games also coming via Sony.
1:31PM Reckless Racing will have more levels on Xperia Play.
1:31PM Guitar Hero, Dead Space, Assassin's Creed confirmed.
1:31PM EA, Gameloft, and Glue / Activision folks are being thanked in the audience. We also saw someone in a Fish Labs shirt show up earlier, so they're there, too.
1:30PM Glu, Gameloft, EA, Digital Chocolate, Trendy, Digital Legends, and Fish Labs are all highlighted on the slide.
1:30PM Around 50 titles available for launch.
1:29PM "I know you want to start a hotspot and kick my ass right now." Aaron, we get it, multiplayer gaming, but think of the children! Kiss your mother with that mouth?
1:28PM They're playing Dungeon Defenders with the track pads.
1:27PM The gamepad is out and proud. We're looking at the Xperia Play launcher. Cover Flow-like browsing through local titles.
1:26PM Don: "I don't know, Aaron, but what else does this best in class smartphone do?" Cringe...
1:26PM Aaron Duke, the bespectacled presenter. "We built our own media player right in." Two cameras.
1:25PM Okay, time to actually see the product in action. Also time for cheesy skits. "Boom! Boom! Sorry, forgot it was a smartphone." Hyuck. Hyuck.
1:25PM Nordberg, Sakaguchi, and Walker all join Kaz, smile big, and then leave Walker to the crowds.
1:24PM PlayStation Store launching later this year. Xperia Play will come pre-loaded with a legendary PlayStation One title. Which? Don't know yet.
1:23PM Xperia Play is the first PlayStation-certified product to hit the market. And when might that be? We still don't know yet.
1:23PM "As part of this initative, we also launched the PS Certified License program."
1:22PM "Since I was appointed President of Networked Products and Services Group our network has been clear." That'd be a unified experience across all devices. "On January 27th, we took one of the biggest steps." He's talking about the PlayStation Suite announcement.
1:22PM Sakaguchi is still going on about the partners, the content, and nothing about what's under the hood. Time for Kaz Hirai to take the stage.
1:21PM Thanks Google for Gingerbread. Worth noting that the device he's holding has a white background. Can't help but be jealous.
1:20PM "During this time, we have now learned to not only build a product but to learn to work with our partners."
1:20PM So far... nope, no specs.
1:19PM "We define Xperia as the most entertaining smartphones." That's all devices tonight, not just the Play.
1:19PM Been trying to build up Xperia brand ever since X1. Started working on Android in 2008.
1:18PM First decision in 2005, about as long as the rumor mill has been drooling at the thought of the a PlayStation phone.
1:18PM "Technology convergence are also essential to support this. It has taken effort form a wide range of customers, consumers.. and our own capabilities. It's been quite a journey."
1:17PM "It's the proudest moment of my ten years with Sony Ericsson." Today feels pretty great standing here experiencing Play.
1:16PM Android Gingerbread. "World's first-ever PlayStation certified device... the perfect combination of communication and entertainment." Chief creation officer Sakaguchi takes the stage.
1:15PM Trailer time. The phone is PlayStation certified, just so you know.
1:15PM "Ladies and gentlemen, gamers aroudn the world, we give you the Xpeia Play." He's playing a Star Fox lookalike, oddly enough.
1:14PM Bert is on stage, Xperia Play in hand and slide out. Wanna guess what he's playing right now?
1:14PM We're watching the Super Bowl trailer again. Still just as disturbing as the first time.
1:13PM "Something else we're going to announce tonight." "The most anticipated announcement" from Sony Ericsson. It's certainly the most leaked.
1:13PM Xperia Arc, Neo, and Pro all offer Android Gingerbread (skinned, of course). All business ready. Steve think it's great... of course.
1:12PM Opens the keyboard, automatically pops up Reply (all) and Forward commands.
1:12PM We're now going through the "familiar" email UI. And how has SE improve dit you, ask? Split UI. Drag the vertical bar on the right to see a preview pane of each message on the right, with the inbox listed still on the left. Adjustable width.
1:11PM HD video, HDMI, Bravia Engine, Exmor R for mobile -- notice the trend. Slide-out QWERTY keyboard inspired by X10 Mini Pro.
1:10PM The Xperia Pro landscape slider.
1:10PM Next device is for those who love to email AND chat -- what are the odds?
1:09PM We're watching a quick video. We'd love to tell you what, but it was only a few seconds long. Looked like a Final Fantasy CG trailer. Hands-on will be available later. Our elbows are ready to rush through the crowd.
1:09PM Chief demo guru, Tony McNulty, is browsing through the image collection with a separate remote.
1:08PM Now we're watching his Barcelona slide show. Obviously he's going to much prettier venues than we have time for.
1:07PM Folders, too, which we saw in our Xperia Play prototype preview. Drag apps onto one another to create.
1:07PM Pinch to see all your widgets on one view. Tap to view. Looks pretty smooth.
1:06PM Demo time. In-built HDMI connector is plugged into the on-screen Bravia. Livestream is on the home page.
1:05PM HD video, HDMI, Bravia Engine, EXmor R for mobile, 8 megapixel camera.
1:05PM Time to watch the teaser video for its next latest and greatest. Xperia Neo.
1:04PM Back to Xperia Arc. 4.2-inch reality display, a sinister Gingerbread Android watching over the audience. Will start shipping around the world in March.
1:04PM Walker's back on stage. "Only Sony Ericsson can give you all this." Best in class smartphone, entertainment, and design / integration. And now he's leaving the stage again. Quite a workout.
1:03PM Sony Ericsson wants to be the leader in entertainment devices. "Let's get this party started."
1:02PM "Last month at CES, we announced Xperia Arc." Mobile BRAVIA Engine, Exmor R, HDMI. But you know that already. Time for the new.
1:02PM "The year we went back to black" for the company bottom line. Hooray profitability! 1.1 billion Euro to be exact.
1:01PM Xperia X10 less than a year ago. 10 million Xperia phones.
1:01PM President and CEO Bert Nordberg has rushed the stage! No, really, he was invited. "A lot has happened since we were together last year. 2010 was a massive turnaround year."
1:00PM "Good evening ladies and Gentlemen. Welcome to Barcelona and the Sony Ericsson press conference." Host Steve Walker kicking it live.
1:00PM Here we go!
12:58PM "Ladies and gentlemen, the presentation will begin in three minutes. THREE minutes." A bit specific, don't ya think? From our ears and fingers to your eyes.
6:54PM Less than ten minutes to go, Kaz and Nordberg are mic'd up and ready to go. Anyone wanna take a guess what phones they're pocketing?
12:36PM There's a handful of square podiums lined up (or queued up, rather) next to the stage, and a number of rapscallion folks who will no doubt rip off the white cloths after the event as we run kicking and screaming over there to get our hands on whatever's hidden underneath.
12:26PM The lights are in "3AM at a dance club" mode with an orange tint that wouldn't make anyone look pretty without a few adult beverages -- perfectly fitting for the overhead music. Sony Ericsson President is chatting up a collection of suits.
12:22PM We've just taken our seats under Opium Mar BCN. The stage is tiny, the talent (i.e. speakers and executives) are roped off to the side, and the room is absolutely packed. We're pretty sure we saw Kaz Hirai wandering somewhere. Game time (sorry, couldn't resist) is 1pm ET / 7pm local.