Learning from their past mistakes, where Sony delayed updates to their Android phones quite a lot, they’re now very keen on pushing out faster updates (though we’re yet to see them deliver on their ‘fast updates’ promise yet), along with supporting the modding and developer community out there. Promising Ice Cream Sandwich Android 4.0 updates to all their 2011 Xperia devices, Sony released alpha and beta versions of the ICS ROM for the Xperia arc S, neo V and the Xperia ray back in December and February respectively, letting developers (and brave customers) test ICS on their phones.
And now, Sony has released a beta ICS ROM for their Playstation certified Xperia PLAY smartphone for developers to test as well as to gather feedback from those that try the beta on their phones. The beta is only recommended to be flashed by advanced users, and needs an unlocked bootloader which will unfortunately prevent you from updating to the official ICS update whenever it gets released. Also, the ROM comes without Wi-Fi or support for Google services like the Market, Gmail, etc, as those are still undergoing certification.
I personally think Sony is taking a great step towards community support by letting people try out their ROMs ahead of release, which also earns them user feedback and will hopefully help them in delivering a great ICS experience whenever the update hits the air. Whether their promise of faster and timely updates holds out or not, it remains to be seen.
If you think you’re brave enough to try out the ICS beta on your Xperia PLAY, head over to the official page on Sony’s website, and follow the given instructions. Do let us know whether you like the Ice Cream Sandwich experience on your Xperia PLAY, in the comments below.