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Minecraft Android will hit Xperia Play first

Xperia Play gains major timed exclusive ahead of U.S. hardware launch

The Android version of indie hit Minecraft has been confirmed as a timed exclusive for Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play device, as the device prepares for its U.S. launch.

Speaking to website Gamasutra, developer Mojang revealed that the new version of the game will feature customised controls that take advantage of the Xperia Play's DualShock-inspired controls.

Other smartphone versions of the game, including iOS and generic Android SKUs, are also planned - each with variations in content and controls. Regardless of format, the game will continue the PC version's model of "release early and update frequently."

"When playing on smartphones you will have a different screen size compared to PC, different hardware, different attention spans and thus the game needs to be customised to fit the mobile specifications," said the developer.

The length of the exclusivity period has not been announced, nor whether it is valid worldwide. Although released in Europe in April, the Xperia Play launches in the U.S. only this week, where it will be available exclusively on the Verizon Wireless network with six pre-loaded games.

Sony Ericsson is planning a promotional event for Minecraft at E3 next month, where the game is expected to be playable.

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David Jenkins