Sony adds native DualShock support to Xperia phones

Is Sony paving the way for a true PlayStation phone?

Sony has added native support for its PlayStation 3 DualShock 3 controller to its range of Xperia smartphones, giving gamers an easy way to set up physical controls on their Android device.

Although there are already third-party apps that let you pair up a DualShock controller with an Android phone, Sony's native controller support makes the process much simpler – just fire up the wizard, connect the controller via a micro USB cable and you're away, as demonstrated in the video below.

In adding support for its own official controller, Sony's stolen a march on its rivals in the race to create an Android gaming phone – other Android manufacturers are forced to rely on the spotty support of third-party controllers like the Nyko PlayPad. Still, they're both streets ahead of Apple – which has yet to officially support physical controllers on its iOS devices.

The news will inevitably raise questions as to whether Sony's gearing up to launch a proper PlayStation-branded phone, now that sufficient time has elapsed since the flop that was the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play. Sony Xperia Vita, anyone?

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