The company formerly known as Sony Ericsson has graciously released a beta build of Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich to developers, in order to test which games are working, and failing, with the new code.
Like the Xperia arc s and ray before it, the Play ICS beta doesn’t have everything working (WiFi is broken out of the box, but can be fixed with a kernel update) but so far everything else looks to be pretty good.
Sony stresses that you’ll need to have your bootloader unlocked, and know your way around the fastboot command, but if you’re following along with this post you likely don’t need me to tell you that. They’ve even gone one step further and posted a support thread inside XDA-Developers, in order to track which games are, and are not, working. This is a great PR move in addition to a practical one, because it’s shoring up even more developer suppor for the underdog company at a time when the Xperia S is being released across the world.
Sony does stress that you will not be able to upgrade to the official ICS ROM when it is finally released (since unlocking the bootloader voids the phone’s warranty) and that Google Apps such as Gmail and Play are not bundled (but enterprising devs can easily install those if they know their way around a command prompt).
If you do decide to jump on the ICS beta for the Xperia Play, let us know what you think!