BARCELONA: Sony Ericsson is to target online and mobile gamers with its next generation of smartphone, incorporating features from the PlayStation.

The Xperia Play, unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, shares some features with Sony's popular PlayStation consoles and will be powered by Google's Android operating system.

It boasts a touchscreen and a pad with buttons based on Sony's portable PSP console.

The device will go on sale in April, costing at least $270 (€199; £169).

It will be launched in the US on Verizon Wireless.

In an interview with Cnet, Bert Nordberg, Sony Ericsson's ceo, said that the world's largest economy would be a priority market for the phone.

"We've always launched products in Europe and then the US," he said.

"But we've learned that the US won't take a device unless they're first. So the strategy has turned around."

Nordberg also signalled strong support for the Android platform.

"It's clear that our focus is on Android," he said. "It's where our focus has been this past year. And we will continue that. In fact, we plan to double the number of Android phones in the market this year.

"It's an ongoing journey, but we like our position in the Android ecosystem. And we've made big contributions to the open-source software."

As reported last month, eMarketer forecasts show that Android's US market share will surpass that of Apple in 2012.

Android's US market share quadrupled from 6% in 2009 to roughly 24% in 2010.

Elsewhere at the Mobile World Congress, BuzzCity has unveiled its latest report on the state of the global mobile industry.

It found that in Q4 2010, 16.8bn mobile ad banners were delivered across its ad network, 12% more than in Q3.

Over last year as a whole, 52.8bn ad banners were delivered across the network, 93% more than 2009.

Data sourced from Cnet/Financial Times/Bloomberg/BuzzCity; additional content by Warc staff