Sony dumps Android Ice Cream Sandwich update for Xperia Play


Sony Mobile has confirmed it will not update its Xperia Play gaming smartphone to run Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, citing performance issues.

xperia play

Sony will not update its Xperia Play to Android's Ice Cream Sandwich.

"After extensive in-house testing with our developer teams and working with our partners, we have concluded that a consistent and stable experience, particularly with gaming, cannot be guaranteed for this smartphone on Ice Cream Sandwich--therefore, we will not make the Android 4.0 upgrade available for Xperia Play," the Sony Xperia Product Blog states. "This decision was also verified when we received similar feedback from the developer community; both experienced developers and advanced users, along with game content providers following our ICS beta ROM for unlocked Xperia Play smartphones. Our priority has and always will be, to provide the best possible user experience on Xperia smartphones. In this instance the ICS upgrade would have compromised stability, where we look to ensure a quality gaming experience with games optimized and developed for Xperia Play."

Sony still intends to update the Xperia S, Xperia P and Xperia U to ICS in the coming months, adding all remaining 2011 smartphones--including the Xperia Arc, Xperia Neo and Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman--will begin upgrading this week.

Sony (then Sony Ericsson) introduced the PlayStation-certified Xperia Play in April 2011, also rolling out more than 60 games optimized expressly for the device. The Xperia Play features a 4-inch screen, slide-out gaming controls with a directional pad and Sony PlayStation buttons and a 1 GHz processor. The smartphone is available from operators including Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T).

Android 4.0 delivers the tablet-optimized innovations introduced in Honeycomb update to all devices in an effort to reduce platform fragmentation. Google first announced Ice Cream Sandwich in May 2011, and promised that moving forward, the same version of Android will run across all devices, regardless of screen size.

Google's Android Developers dashboard reveals that only 4.9 percent of all Android devices are currently running a version of Ice Cream Sandwich. Android devices make up 51 percent of the U.S. smartphone market according to comScore data issued earlier this month.

For more:
- read this Sony Xperia Product Blog entry

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