There was a lot of hype and speculation over the Xperia Play. It seemingly took the best that a PSP and Android phone had to offer and put it in one package that you could always have on you. A PlayStation Phone was one of those things that was supposed to rock the market. But has it?

The initial reviews of it were shaky but you’d figure it would gather a decent following over time. But as we learned the Xperia Play game titles had extremely poor initial sales. But just how poor is it doing? Well let’s apply some quasi (at best) reasoning here. If you go to Verizon’s website there’s a general correlation between the number of reviews and the popularity of phones. So as expected the iPhone 4 has thousands of reviews and the HTC ThunderBolt has over 4300 reviews and the Blackberry Storm 2 has just over 3700 reviews.

Now let’s look at the HTC Trophy, the only Windows Phone for Verizon. It as 334 reviews. The Xperia Play has 84 reviews. Yes, just 84. Now this isn’t hard science because there’s no definitive correlation between the number of reviews and the sales (since we don’t have those sort of stats available) but you can assume there would be a general correlation here. And if you think that the Trophy is getting a lot of reviews because people who buy it are passionate about Windows Phones then you have to be suggesting the opposite about the Xperia Play – that its users are not enthusiastic about it. Oh and yes, they’ve been available in the US for the same period of time so that’s not at issue here.

For my two cents I’ve never seen an Xperia Play in the wild and yes I do see Windows Phones in the wild but admittedly nowhere near the levels of other devices. And it doesn’t change the fact that I think MS should allow a specific chassis that is in line with the Play and have a subcategory of games that use physical buttons because it makes gaming a lot better. But for all of the years of hype and speculation surrounding this device it’s somewhat surprising to see it underperforming and in fact being outsold by a device that Verizon is barely marketing.

2 COMMENTS

  1. To be fair Verizon and Sony Ericsson are doing such little marketing of the Xperia Play I didn’t even realize it was being sold until I read this. I’ve never seen one anywhere, and I was under the impression it was still in the works. I’d go as far to say that Verizon is marketing the Xperia Play and the HTC Trophy about the same, by doing no marketing of the devices whatsoever. They just keep pushing “Droid” in TV and print; while the iPhone sells itself, mainly due to the social reputation of Apple products. I know Verizon is seeing success with its Android lineup, but what do they really have to lose by making a minority of their customers happier by carrying more than one Windows Phone?

    Personally, I would love to be able to recommend a phone with a bigger screen to my Verizon friends. They just can’t understand how AT&T carries 4 excellent Windows Phones, many at $49 or $99 on-contract while Verizon’s price is still $199. A few third-parties have the HTC Trophy at a lower price, but I suspect when the second-generation of (Mango) devices comes in that the HTC Trophy will get clearance-level pricing. Of course at that point I’ll be saying, “don’t get that, get the new gen phones with the gyroscope and Mango pre-loaded.” It looks to be an eternity before the HTC Trophy gets 7392. As it is, the Samsung Focus (REV 1.3) is the only other Windows Phone in the US without 7392 being delivered.

  2. I think this definitely shows that WP7 phones aren’t the only ones lacking a marketing push. When I went to my local Verizon store they had back half the store dedicated the iPhone, and the front half on the right dedicated to the mainstream android phones that are selling like hot cakes. On the left side in the corner where nobody would look there was the HTC Trophy and the Xperia Play side by side along with a few Blackberries. No wonder they aren’t getting sold.

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