Should Sony have made the Xperia PLAY ICS update optional?

by XB on 25th May 2012

in Android, Firmware, Xperia PLAY

By now you’ve probably heard that Sony Mobile has abandoned the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Xperia PLAY. This is despite doing lots of work behind the scenes and even going as far as releasing a beta version of the update. Up until now this has all been very commendable stuff from Sony which is why we imagine that it must have been a very difficult decision to pull the plug on this update.

Remember the Xperia PLAY was a flagship device in 2011 along with the Xperia arc. In fact, despite what most recent prices suggest, the Xperia PLAY was significantly more expensive than the arc on launch. It is also a device that has received lots of marketing dollars since its launch in April 2011. It is for these reasons too why Sony Mobile is likely to feel a lot of heat from disgruntled customers who will talk about broken promises.

Whilst we respect Sony’s move and can understand the issues behind the decision, we can’t help feel that maybe Sony should have let Xperia PLAY owners decide whether they wanted it or not. Sony Mobile had already talked through the pros and cons of updating your 2011 Xperia handset to Android 4.0. They could have made the ICS release an optional update with a big health warning saying that it may not be stable for all games but you can take it at your own risk.

Surely it wouldn’t be too much extra work considering the similarity in hardware across other 2011 Xperia handsets. Plus, Sony Mobile had already released the beta version of the update so we imagine the firmware would have been close to a near polished state.

We just feel that given all of the negative repercussions that Sony Mobile will feel from this move, surely it would have been more sensible to give Xperia PLAY owners the choice and let them decide themselves whether they wanted to stick with a stable Gingerbread release or go for a potentially buggier but newer ICS firmware release.

Anyway, what are your views on the subject? Would it just have made things confusing if Sony had made available an optional update? Would most people just have downloaded it anyway creating more problems, especially for those less tech-savvy? Or has Sony missed a trick here and should they have let the owners decide whether they wanted it or not? Let us know in the comments below.

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