Summary:

With a Super Bowl commercial grafting human “gaming” thumbs onto a now-familiar green Android, *Sony* Ericsson (NSDQ: ERIC) is finally going…

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play campaign Facebook

With a Super Bowl commercial grafting human “gaming” thumbs onto a now-familiar green Android, *Sony* Ericsson (NSDQ: ERIC) is finally going big with its long-anticipated, and much-leaked, “PlayStation” phone, formally called the Xperia Play. (Full video after the jump.)

I have to admit I was a little horrified by the whole sweatshop/grimy operating table aesthetic — whose thumbs are those, exactly? — but then again, I don’t think that phone is aimed at me.

What is still a question is whether PlayStation and Sony (NYSE: SNE) Ericsson have strong enough brands — and if the phone works well enough as a gaming device — to make the Xperia Play device into a success.

Will it cut out (excuse the pun) a new place for itself in the market, or follow in the footsteps of the Nokia N-Gage, which, as a standalone device, didn’t get past the beginners’ stages of the competition?

The Play will be competing not only against plain old smartphones, which have proven to be a hit with gamers already; but also the many handheld gaming devices that are looking more and more like mobile handsets (such as Sony’s own NGP device, which has 3G connectivity, a microphone and speakers and cameras).

The device will be formally unveiled next week during MWC in Barcelona. For now, a Facebook campaign (pictured) and, of course, the commercial…

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By Ingrid Lunden

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