∞ Verizon offers 'PlayStation phone' for $199

Verizon Wireless announced Tuesday that it will offer the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, the first North American cell phone carrier to do so. The “PlayStation phone,” as it has become known, makes its debut on May 26 for $199 (with new two-year contract), with pre-orders available starting May 19.

[ad#Google Adsense 300×250 in story]The Xperia Play is the first PlayStation-certified smartphone. Based on Android 2.3 “Gingerbread,” the phone features an integrated game controller that mimics the control surface of a PlayStation video game console, complete with directional keypad, dual analog touch joystick, two shoulder buttons and four PlayStation symbol keys (circle, X, square and triangle).

The device comes pre-loaded with seven game titles: Madden NF 11, Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior, Asphalt 6: Adrenaline, The Sims 3, star Battalion, Crash Bandicoot and Tetris.

Verizon is making more than 50 additional game titles available at launch through its V CAST service. The system is also compatible with games designed for other Android-based smartphones. What’s more, it can run Adobe Flash content.