A day after word spread that Sony's Xperia Play had vanished from its list of incoming Ice Cream Sandwich upgrades, the company has come forward and confirmed that the gaming-centric handset will not be making the jump to Android 4.0. "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," says the post at Sony's Xperia Product Blog. "Therefore, we will not make the Android 4.0 upgrade available for Xperia Play."
According to Sony, a beta test conducted on unlocked Play units brought about similar concerns from users and developers. The news doesn't bode well for a product once heralded as the company's flagship PS Suite hardware — and the only such device to offer physical gaming controls. It's hard to see how Sony could add much in the way of new features if it's cautiously leaving owners behind on Gingerbread in hopes of preserving a consistent user experience. Despite what's presented as good intentions, we doubt Sony's explanation will provide much solace to those who are now forever bound to Android 2.3.