Sony Steal the Show at Mobile World Congress

Sony has confirmed the worst kept ‘secret’ in the mobile industry, officially announcing the Xperia Play.

The Xperia Play – or playstation phone as everyone has been calling it – is, as the name suggests, a mobile phone/PSP hybrid.  Instead of a slide out keyboard, the Xperia Play has a slide out joypad.

It also has access to “playstation certified” through Sony’s Playstation Suite and ships with 6 pre installed games including Sims 3 and Fifa 10.

As cool as the Xperia Play is, the fact that it’s stolen the show at MWC despite everyone knowing about it for months is a sad reflection on the rest of the show.

Aside from the playstation phone, there doesn’t seem to be much that’s really innovative or new.

There’s the expected slew of Android 3.0  tablets, some of which look great, but you can’t help feel they’re all playing catch up with the iPad, and with the iPad2 imminent consumers are likely to wait and see.

Motorola confirmed that it’s 10.1 inch Xoom tablet will hit Europe, but didn’t mention pricing, so expect to sell a kidney if you want one.

Samsung announced a 10 inch version of it’s Galaxy tab with Vodafone getting the exclusive. They didn’t announce pricing, which means it will cost a lot.

Samsung also announced a dual core version of the Galaxy S, now as a geek, words like “dual core” get my interest, but to Joe Public words like dual core, solid state, AMOLED etc are boring. In marketing parlance, sell the benefit not the feature. Samsung will need to come up with something more interesting if they want to avoid their marketing sounding like a PC spec.

Now as much as I don’t want to play in to the hands of Apple’s marketing and PR departments I’m going to.

Apple aren’t at MWC, which has had the effect of fuelling speculation of what they’re going to do next. And Sony aside, the uninspiring showings from everyone else have helped keep the press asking about Apple.

With the iPad 2 coming, the iPhone 5 in the works and rumours of an iPhone mini circulating Apple have kept up their coverage during MWC without even turning up. Clever.

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