The Sony Ericsson Xperia Play may have debuted to lukewarm reviews in 2011, but game streaming king OnLive has given it a reprieve by making its service available on the smartphone.

OnLive has managed to show the world that cloud gaming can actually work – especially on the big screen, where all you have to do is plug in its receiver to stream content.

Its launch on handheld devices earlier this month, however, was a harder sell. Yes you play premium games on a tablet but you have to use either fiddly virtual controls or and external joypad, which is decent but not perfect when your screen is no bigger than 10 inches.

Enter the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, the only smartphone around with analogue controls, and suddenly OnLive on a portable device begins to make sense.

Game on

"From the moment we launched our OnLive Android app, gamers began asking about Sony Ericsson Xperia Play game control support," explained Steve Perlman, OnLive Founder and CEO.

"We listened and delivered. Now Xperia Play gamers in the US and UK can play almost all of OnLive's 200 premium titles-including hit AAA games like Saints Row: The Third and Assassin's Creed: Revelations – on their Xperia Play smartphone with a full console-class experience, including multiplayer and social features."

Considering the price of the Xperia Play has dropped to around £150, this could be the perfect go-between for those who will have to wait and save up for the PS Vita.

Via Engadget