Yesterday, we learned about a new list Sony had made available to inform its user base about upcoming Ice Cream Sandwich updates for its Android lineup. Surprisingly, though, the Xperia Play was absent from that group, raising some new questions about Sony’s commitment to delivering ICS to the phone. After all, following the release of beta ICS ROMs for the Play, it seemed like Sony was very much interested in seeing the phone make the journey to Android 4.0, so we didn’t know if this was just an innocent oversight, or if the company had really changed its mind about the Play. Today we get our answer, with Sony confirming that the Xperia Play won’t be getting an official ICS update.
In a statement provided to Phone Scoop, Sony explains that both its own testing and feedback from beta users found ICS to place a burden on the phone that led to “a significant decline in user experience when running high performance games”. Since gaming is so key to what makes the Play the phone it is, the company decided to halt work on an ICS update.
There’s nothing fundamentally wrong about a manufacturer denying users certain features in order to maintain a high level of system performance, but we’re not sure we love Sony’s logic here. The Xperia Play shares basic hardware components (SoC, RAM) with other models from the Xperia lineup that are still getting ICS updates. Those systems would presumably suffer the same performance issues as the Play, so the only reason they’re getting ICS and the Play isn’t is because Sony doesn’t care as much about high-end gaming on those systems.
Ultimately, that’s just a little bit insulting to both Play owners, presuming they value gaming above all else, as well as owners of similar Xperias, presuming they could care less about poor game performance. At the least, Play owners should get the same choice other Xperia owners are getting, and be able to decide if they want to install the update for themselves.
Source: Phone Scoop