ICS beta ROM now available for unlocked Xperia™ PLAY smartphones [download]

Upon request we’re today releasing an Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) beta for Xperia™ PLAY, and we’re really interested in getting your feedback on this beta release. As games are such a crucial part of Xperia™ PLAY, we would like to know how well this ICS beta for Xperia™ PLAY works when you’re playing games. Read on for download links and installation instructions!

After releasing the ICS beta ROM for three other Xperia™ smartphones a while back, we got a lot of requests from Xperia™ PLAY users that wanted to try out ICS. When it comes to Xperia™ PLAY, we do know that some games will need to be optimised to work fine with ICS. Of course, big parts of the work with games are already initiated, and we work close with several game partners on this. However, we would still like to get additional input from you, to get your opinion on how the content and games work on your Xperia PLAY.

We are especially interested in how the gaming experience works on ICS beta for Xperia™ PLAY, what games that work well and if there is any unexpected behaviour. Please let us know what you think once you’ve tried it out. You can submit your feedback either through the Ice Cream Sandwich beta ROM survey for Xperia™ PLAY, the Ice Cream Sandwich beta ROM for Xperia™ PLAY thread on the XDA forum, or in the comments to this blog post. If possible, please describe your experience of different games using the following format:

Game title:
What was your general impression?
Did the buttons work properly?
Did the touch pads work properly?
Did you experience any lagging?
Any other feedback?

Important information
Even though a lot of the basic functionality of this ICS beta ROM is working, you should only download and install the beta version if you are an advanced developer. This is not the final software, and the stability of the software may not be ideal as it has not been finally tested and bugfixed.

Even if you’re an advanced developer, there are a few things to pay close attention to before you download and install the beta ROM:

  • You should be an advanced developer with extensive knowledge in how to install, and switch between different ROMs. If you are a consumer without these developer skills, then we strongly recommend you do not try this, as you may damage your phone.
  • You must be using Xperia™ PLAY, running the latest Xperia™ software release (which is 4.0.2.A.0.42). For an ICS beta ROM for Xperia™ Arc S, Xperia™ Neo V and Xperia™ ray, check out the previously released ICS beta ROM for unlocked Xperia™ smartphones.
  • You must unlock your phone using our Unlock boot loader service, and agree to all the legal and warranty conditions that apply. Please note that you may void the warranty of your phone, any warranty from your operator or both if you unlock the boot loader of your phone. Sony Mobile can then no longer guarantee the full functionality of your phone, and will not be responsible for any unusable functions or loss of personal data associated to the beta ROM being flashed to the phone. Please pay special attention to the following legal statement before downloading (the full statement is available on the download link):

“You must acknowledge that the software is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, and to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law.”

  • Also, if you unlock the boot loader, you will not be able to download and install the final Ice Cream Sandwich software upgrade for Xperia™ phones. For additional information on limitations and warranty, please see our Unlock boot loader service page.
  • You should have read through and acknowledged the limitations of the software described below.
  • You must read and accept the end user license agreement on the download link, before you can download the beta ROM zip file.

Please note that the Google Mobile Services (GMS) apps (for example Gmail, Google Maps and Face Unlock) and Wi-Fi™ are not included in the beta release due to that they are still waiting for the certification and type approval to be finalised.

Download and install
Follow the instructions below to download and install the alpha ROM. Please note that it only works with Xperia™ PLAY.

  1. Make sure your phone is running the latest software release, which is build number 4.0.2.A.0.42.  If you can’t upgrade to this build number, it is not possible to try the Ice Cream Sandwich beta ROM for Xperia™ phones.
  2. Go to unlockbootloader.sonymobile.com and unlock the boot loader of your phone. To do this, you must read through and agree to all the legal and warranty conditions that apply.
  3. Download the Ice Cream Sandwich beta ROM for Xperia™ PLAY.
  4. Extract the downloaded zip file to your Android Fastboot directory. For example: ..android-sdkfastbootXperia_PLAY_ICS_beta.
  5. Open a command prompt and go to your Fastboot directory: ..android-sdkfastboot
  6. Flash the three beta ROM files one at a time using Fastboot. Use these three commands:
    •  fastboot flash boot ..FastbootXperia_PLAY_ICS_betaboot.img
    •  fastboot flash userdata ..FastbootXperia_PLAY_ICS_betauserdata.img
    •  fastboot flash system ..FastbootXperia_PLAY_ICS_betasystem.img
  7. Once done, please reboot your phone.

So feel free to go ahead and test this version and let us know what you think. Your comments are really important to us!

More information

Comments 336

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  1. By Diego Alejandro Gutiérrez Montilla


    Dañe mi xperia PLAY, ahora no pasa del logo negro sony erisson, saben como puedo arreglarlo? entendiendo que ahora ya no tengo garantía., pues con PC compa.. y update me dice que no se puede arraglar pues el sw no es original.

  2. By Gabriel Artiga


    Why not bring the application google play? as the install please help support sony ericcson. They’re going to launch any update? when? urgent help with this issue. Thank you.

    • By Naveed Ali


      you will get it automatically when you go online as the app will itself change from Market to Play Store dynamically. When I first went online through Market app , next time I saw Play Store app in Menu section instead of Market!

  3. By Mathias Bøgebjerg Petersen


    Up till now it looks good…

    Browser crashes often,

    But i made a mistake when installing…

    I Forgot to backup the two original files boot.img and userdata.img

    So now i cant reverse back to the original firmware… Can anyone help me woth those two files?
    Then id love go get an email.


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    […] Mobile ha reso disponibile per il download un nuovo firmware beta, basato su Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, per lo smartphoneXperia […]

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    […] mas a la que sea oficial completa, aunque si me de curiosidad saber y probar el ICS. Para terminar, les dejo el link por si desean instalar la el rom de la beta. Comparte […]

  6. By Robert Guyett


    Hello Sony I’m really pleased with me Xperia Play but & it’s a big but I wouldn’t recommend it as you’ve made it impossible 4 me to, I’ve had this phone 4 about 6months & theirs still only 10 ps1 titles on the market it’s ridiculous, why make a Sony gaming phone then only release 10 games it’s loopy, & what really annoys me is that theirs 100s of ps1 titles out there like metal gear solid & driver etc & u haven’t released them I really wish I just waited abit & got your later Xperia phones ad they also have the PlayStation app on them, u should defo say that theirs only 10 games out 4 this & I guarantee u wouldn’t of sold any Xperia plays, to go 2 all that hassle with the PlayStation crew 2 come up with this supperb phone with lovely controller then only release a few games defeats the purpose, can u post if ur gonna release any more titles please as if not I’ll be gettin rid, I read somewhere that 1 of your officials said the Play was going 2 be released with titles Little Big Planet & God Of War which r ps2 & PSP titles & I haven’t heard anything since THANK U PLEASE RELEASE MORE TITLES as it’s a stunning phone Thanks

  7. By Jonathan Fabricio


    ics rom
    a suggestion could be done in the update of ics, improved camera in the look is very simple in the case of xperia play, not much animation as the mini xperia camera.
    Photo Gallery I do not like, I prefer the android 2.3.4, the keyboard does not draw much attention I would definitely prefer the keyboard android 2.3.4, hence have done a good job the rest of ics is very good and innovative

    • By Tak Zakata


      oye, jeje disclpa podrias explicarme como lo instalaste desde el punto 4, es que ya me perdi


  8. By Gebong Stone


    Just go updating XPERIA PHONES…!! Dont play around..!!

  9. Pingback #12

    […] on over to the blog post on developer.sonymobile for full instructions on how to download the […]

  10. By Tobinho Neymar Araba


    when i was trying to unlock the boot loader and i reached the stage where you have to open the command prompt and put in the key for the boot loader to be unlocked, it keeps telling me that fastboot.exe cant be found internally or externally

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    […] in early 2012. They’ve just released a beta ICS ROM for Xperia Play which can be downloaded here. It’s beta in its purest sense and is missing quite a lot of essential features. You […]