April 1st. The British carrier has been candid in admitting it found software bugs on the Play and is holding back release of the gamer-friendly device until those have been ironed out. We appreciate its effort in "testing the phone non-stop for weeks" and its reluctance to grab a quick buck by releasing imperfectly baked goods, but a major question remains -- if this isn't an O2-specific software problem, and we've heard no peep of O2 customizing the Android 2.3 build on the Play, why are no other carriers signaling a similar delay? Vodafone is still aiming to deliver UK pre-orders by April 5th and there seems to be no indication of flawed software from others. Only thing we can think of, given that O2 has the white Xperia Play exclusive, is that the white phone curse has struck again.
Update: Here's what Sony Ericsson has to say on the matter:
"Sony Ericsson Xperia™ PLAY will be launching on 1st April across all UK mobile operator partners except for O2, who have decided to prolong the testing period in order to ensure that the software meets the requirements of its procedures. Sony Ericsson will be workingwith O2 over the next couple of weeks to expedite the process and ensure that O2 customers can soon join consumers across the UK in being able to enjoy the world's first PlayStation certified smartphone."