Sony Ericsson’s answer to calls for a PlayStation Phone, the Xperia Play, launches this Friday in the UK, and shortly after in the US. In the UK, mobile phone provider O2 was supposed to release an exclusive white version of the phone on the same day, but have delayed the release due to software bugs.
Head of O2’s testing team, Stuart Hibberd explained that the phone was delayed on the O2 blog:
Our job, as I mentioned in my last blog post, is to make sure these phones are ready for our customers before they go on sale. This means we rigorously test each phone, often for weeks, and try every single feature. We get to know each phone inside and out and, by the time it goes on sale, need to be absolutely certain it’ll offer our customers a great experience.
Sometimes we discover bugs and issues on a phone. This is perfectly normal – bugs can appear in every form of software. When we discover these issues we work with our phone manufacturer partners to fix them and make sure that O2 customers will have the best possible experience when they use their phone.
This is what has happened with the Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY. We’ve been testing the phone non-stop for weeks and have found some bugs in the software that, if they’re not fixed, means customers won’t have a great experience. We’ve been working with Sony Ericsson to get these bugs ironed out, but haven’t been able to get them fixed in time for us to be able to launch the phone on April 1st as we originally planned.
At O2 we’re really excited about the Xperia Play – we announced earlier on this year that we’d be selling an exclusive white version. We want to make sure that any issues with the software are resolved before it goes on sale so we’ll be working with Sony Ericsson over the next couple of weeks and we’ll be blogging regularly to update you.
Additionally, the provider clarified in the comments:
The bugs are with the software on the phone, not anything O2 branded.
Sony Ericsson responded to the delay:
Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY will be launching on April 1 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 working with 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.
So far, no other phone providers have delayed the phone, so you’ll still be able to get the mobile in the UK – unless you wanted a white phone or are tied to O2. The extent of the bugs remains to be seen, but for such a severe delay, it does cast doubts over the phone’s software.
Has this affected your decision on whether you will get the Xperia Play? Let us know in the comments below.