Bad news first: Sony will not be upgrading the Xperia Play to Ice Cream Sandwich. They were dedicated to doing so, even going as far as to develop a beta ROM and release it to developers and testers. Unfortunately, with both their external testers and in-house testing, the experience has not been 100% consistent. Namely, they can not keep a fully stable experience while gaming. I assume this is a RAM issue, as the Xperia Play only has 512MB of RAM. Considering gaming is their prime focus with that phone, and Play games could be a lot more graphically intense than your average 3D Android games, this is probably the best decision. And for whoever wants ICS, well the custom ROM development is still alive. Also consider that HTC and Motorola didn’t even attempt to upgrade any phones with 512MB of RAM, so this is Sony trying but doing what’s best.
Now comes the good news: Sony is upgrading a HUGE list of devices to Android 4.0.4, and many updates are rolling out now. The Xperia Arc S, Ray, and Neo V are already receiving their updates. The new series, Xperia S, P, and U, are getting their updates either at the end of June or in Q3. Next week, updates for the Xperia Arc, Neo, Mini, Mini Pro, Active, and the Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman will be rolling out. It’s shocking to see the Xperia Mini series on that list, but that’s great.
Even phones that have gotten 4.0.3, like the Arc S, Ray, and Neo V, will be getting a 4.0.4 update. I really didn’t expect such dedication from Sony. If they actually made good phones, and released them globally, they very well may have been in the top 3 Android manufacturers by now. This is truly impressive, and I wish more manufacturers cared about most of their phones like this. Good on Sony. Now release your high end Android 4.0 phones in the US, and I’ll finally be placated.