Sony has unveiled a new functionality in the upcoming Xperia SP. According to Engadget, the smartphone has the capability to hook up with Sony's DualShock 3 controller to let you play games using real controls instead of on-screen controls, which are often pretty bad.

To hook up a DualShock 3 controller to an Xperia SP, you simply have to pair both the devices via Bluetooth, as the controller uses simple Bluetooth protocols. After the first time, you can connect the controller to the SP by pressing the PlayStation button on the controller.

Although only the Xperia SP seems to have this capability right now, it may be only a matter of time before Sony's flagship, the Xperia Z, can also do this. One can also assume that it won't take long for the functionality to be ported over to other devices by enterprising developers.

Hooking up a controller to an Android device is nothing new. Gamers have been doing it for well over a year with hacked homebrew drivers, as the controller works well with games that are running on SNES or NES emulators. However, official support for this is always welcome. If Sony does manage to port it to its other devices, it would go well with the company's 'One Sony' philosophy.

Gaming on the Xperia SP now sounds much more appealing

Gaming on the Xperia SP now sounds much more appealing (image credit: Engadget)

The Xperia SP was unveiled back in March. It was revealed alongside the lower-end Xperia L. A 4G ready handset, the SP brings a 4.6-inch 720p display in a sleek body that's reminiscent of the Xperia ZL. Sony has retained the LED notification strip that we first saw on the Xperia U. The strip sits below the display and matches the approximate colours of the album art of the song playing on the phone and will also pulse with the music. Additionally, users can customise the colour of the LED notification light to correlate to their contacts.

Available in black, red or white, the SP takes its design cues from the flagship Xperia Z. It is powered by a 1.7GHz Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor, while the Adreno 320 GPU is in charge of graphics. There's 8GB of storage, but you can use the microSD card slot to expand that.

Around the back is an 8-megapixel camera module based on Sony’s Exmor RS sensor that's capable of shooting 1080p video, and there's a VGA front-facing shooter for video chats. To improve the build quality of the Sony Xperia SP, the company has endowed it with an aluminum wireframe, which is wrapped by a plastic casing. Connectivity-wise, the SP not only offers the usual Bluetooth, GPS/GLONASS, Wi-Fi and MHL-powered microUSB combination, but also brings in NFC capability.

Here are the key specs of the Xperia SP:

  • 4.6-inch, 1280 x 720-pixel resolution display
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP
  • NFC
  • GPS with A-GPS support and GLONASS
  • 8MP primary camera with LED flash, 1080p video and VGA front-facing camera
  • 8GB internal storage, with microSD card slot

Sony has added a 2370 mAh battery and has also thrown in Stamina mode, which should ensure good battery life. The official stand-by time is quoted as 709 hours (LTE) while the talktime is rated at 18 hour and 53 minutes. The Sony Xperia SP should be available from Q2, 2013.

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