Remember Sony’s plans to bring the latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich to its entire 2011 Xperia portfolio? Remember how they pulled the plug on the Xperia PLAY’s ICS update and how it enraged PLAY owners the world over. Well at first glance it looks like Sony have had a change of heart, but before you jump for joy, let’s inspect this latest development more closely.
The Xperia PLAY was Sony’s (then Sony Ericsson) first PlayStation certified device. In addition, it was also the first smartphone to feature integrated hardware gaming controls, implemented in a sliding form factor. Around launch and throughout its first year of availability, Sony invested time and money into fleshing out the PlayStation certified platform, with over 300 titles now available able to make use of those all-important hardware controls.
For those who entered into a two year contract with the PLAY, they initially thought they would be able to rest easy, safe in the knowledge that it would receive support for the duration of the tariffs. However in the last few weeks, Sony dropped a bombshell, the Xperia PLAY would not be making the jump to Android ICS. After rage and upset spread throughout the community of PLAY owners, it was as if all hope was lost for the chance of an upgrade, until today.
Earlier this morning XperiaBlog identified that the scrapped software upgrade had resurfaced as a certified build. Much to the surprise of the Xperia PLAY community, the update that was never meant to see the light of day, had. Closer inspection however, places severe doubt in our minds as to the realistic implementation of this newfound update. Despite certification, no PLAY owners will be likely to receive said update.
In this instance, we suspect that the certification was already in progress, before Sony made the announcement about the Xperia PLAY not getting ICS and it's simply come out anyway.
The Xperia PLAY update was initially canned as a result of incompatibility and instability amidst elements of the build and the gaming services offered by the PLAY. The release of the update will likely still hold those same issues and as such, Sony will not be producing an official roll out. Ice Cream Sandwich on the Xperia PLAY is possible, but only in the beta release which Sony have made available. In this instance it’s only really a shadow of what could have been.