Xperia Play drops to $100

After Sony Ericsson said its Xperia Play was in it for the long haul, Verizon has cut the price of the device to just $100.

The Xperia Play, known more popularly as the “Playstation Phone,” is the first – and so far only – smartphone stamped by Sony as “Playstation Certified.” Sony is pushing other manufacturers to conform to its mobile standard and create ultimate gamer phones.

But if the Xperia Play is any indication, consumers aren’t really in the mood for such a phone. Sales have been stagnant, and download numbers of the Xperia Play-exclusive game titles – which are made public just like any other Android app – are woefully small.

Some of the games have been downloaded less than 100 times.

However, Sony Ericsson said not to worry because it expected the phone to take a while to take off, and said the Xperia Play will be a story about a long-running device rather than one that failed early.

When the phone was released earlier this year, it carried the now-standard after-contract smartphone price of $200. But Verizon apparently doesn’t share the same long-term optimism as the phone’s manufacturer, as the carrier has just reduced the price in half.

We wrote about the state of mobile gaming at E3 and said it was very surprising to see such a low profile for smartphones and tablets. It was sort of a wake-up call to tell everyone that gamers still want a real gaming device. All this speculation about how dedicated game consoles are on the way out may just be the result of unnecessarily extreme hype over mobile games.

Regardless, Sony’s push into mobile will continue, as its successor to the PSP – the Playstation Vita – will have 3G connectivity and will be able to communicate with Android phone users.