Xperia Play 2: Prototype shows what Sony could do with a PlayStation-inspired smartphone
An Xperia Play 2 prototype has surfaced on Alibaba's second-hand marketplace, Idle Fish. Sony Ericsson released the Xperia Play in 2011 to good reviews, but the company never announced a follow-up. The main selling point of the Xperia Play was its slide-out gamepad, which was considered a vast improvement over the Nokia N-Gage that came out eight years prior.
The prototype looks more refined than its predecessor. The listing shows that the device has shoulder buttons, along with a 3D button. We doubt it will ever become clear what the latter would have been used for, but it may have been similar to the stereoscopic effect that the 3DS achieved. Little else is known about the Xperia Play 2 prototype. However, the Sony Ericsson label is a giveaway that the device dates from 2011, prior to when Sony absorbed the Ericsson brand.
In our opinion, a device like the Xperia Play 2 could sell well today, particularly if it could tap into PlayStation Now or Xbox Game Streaming. Likewise, a PlayStation-inspired smartphone could prove successful, although the inclusion of capacitive analog sticks may make the device tough to use in some games. In some ways, the Xperia Play was ahead of its time, especially considering the rise of dual-screen and foldable smartphones. Sadly, it seems that Sony has no plans to release another smartphone like the Xperia Play, but we would not put it past LG to do so with its Explorer Project, which has already born fruit with the Wing.