While many other manufacturers seem content with leaving users in the dark about Android 4.0 updates, Sony appears to be a bit more open with their process. Late last year, they released their timeline for updating Xperia devices to Ice Cream Sandwich, and today's release of an open beta of the software for the Xperia Play comes right on schedule.
In fact, Sony didn't even say that they would be releasing a beta, so really the release is something of a bonus. Unlike those with devices from less open manufacturers, Xperia Play owners can now go to the official Sony developer website, and simply download and flash Ice Cream Sandwich through fastboot. The standard disclaimer says that the build is really for developers to test games, but it is still readily available to any end user who cares to download it.
What I really like about the beta approach is that it allows users who know that they want Ice Cream Sandwich get it, while regular users are not bothered with unstable software. Instead of having to make sure it is ready for everyone, Sony can go ahead and get the update out to those who those who want it while those who don't care won't even notice.
The only downside I see to this update is that it looks like Sony has heavily skinned over most of Android 4.0's interface updates, but that's really a small price to pay for actually getting the update on time. Especially for such a unique device, I have to commend Sony for being open and getting this beta out, and I actually wish more manufacturers would follow suit.
If you have an Xperia Play and want to update, just follow the source link below to Sony's official website.[Sony Developer World]