Something to look forward to: Accessories for improving gaming on smartphones are nothing new, but Sony's latest announcement takes things to a new level. The company's upcoming Xperia attachment shows it's getting serious about esports and streaming when it comes to mobile games.
Sony unveiled this week an attachment that adds a surprising array of features to its new Xperia 1 IV smartphone. The accessory's product page confirms that it goes on sale on October 14 for 23,100 yen (around $160). Although a product page for the device has appeared on Sony's online stores for Asian territories like Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, it hasn't yet appeared on the company's US website.
The Xperia Stream XQZ-GG01's headline feature is a fan to keep the phone cool while playing high-end games. High temperatures are always a concern when playing certain mobile games, and other companies have sold similar phone fans for a while, but the Xperia stream combines that functionality with four cable ports.
The USB-C port and 3.5mm audio jack aren't surprising, but the Ethernet port and 120Hz HDMI output set the Xperia Stream apart from other phone attachments. Esports professionals provided Sony with input in the accessory's design, and the ports are useful features for both gamers and streamers.
Most casual users probably play mobile games while on the go, where there is no need for HDMI or Ethernet. However, hardwiring video and internet into a phone makes more sense at a streamer's home or an esports venue. Asus offers stationary docks with similar features, but the Xperia Stream lets users access the same functionality with the phone in their hands.
Sony will also offer a "game enhancer" app with the attachment that gives users a level of monitoring and customization functionality that looks similar to PC gaming apps like MSI Afterburner. The software shows information like frame rate, RAM usage, and charge wattage. It also includes controls for fan rotation, thermal limits, and screen refresh rate.
The attachment is a high-end accessory for Sony's already premium Xperia 1 IV, which ships this month. Starting at $1,600, the flagship phone sports the first-ever true optical zoom lens on a phone. Running on the Qualcomm Snapdragon Gen 1 with 12GB of RAM, the Xperia 1 IV can record video at 4K 120fps and features a 6.5-inch 4K HDR OLED 120Hz screen. Sony is positioning it as the ultimate photography phone, and perhaps its newly-unveiled attachment can make it one of the best gaming phones as well.
The Xperia Stream will be available to try at the 2022 Tokyo Game Show which will take place September 15 through September 18.