An official portable version of the immensely popular indie sandbox title Minecraft is finally on the way. Price and release date have yet to be disclosed, but it's first stop is at least been known: the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play (aka the PSPhone), where it will also enjoy a window of exclusivity.

Notch (one of the primary forces behind Minecraft) explained that the abundance of buttons found on the handset was one primary factor for it being chosen as launch hardware. Which is sure to be sad news to iPhone & iPad fanboys everywhere. Some have already expressed a certain degree of indignation as a result, to the point that a select number feel honestly betrayed.

At least it's coming; as Jens Bergensten (the other person behind the game) explains, this latest iteration utilizes a rewritten engine to support the iOS in the future. The bad news is how it won't sync up with the PC version for cross-platform play. Till then, Apple loyalists can keep themselves occupied with Sword & Sworcery, Eliss, Pong Vaders, and countless other exclusives that the platform enjoys. As well as the unofficial Minecraft client, for those who still have a copy before it got yanked by Apple (which might actually be superior to the real deal, if it does indeed speak with desktop players).

It's also worth noting that the Xperia Play makes its official North American debut today, via Verizon Wireless. Previously, one's only option was an unlocked GSM version for a large wad of cash (which is the case for most carrier agnostic phones, alas). It's been out in Europe for a little while now, with sales of PSone software, the main thrust of the device, being sluggish to put it mildly. Will Minecraft be the killer app the phone clearly needs? Time will only tell.

[via reddit & Cult of Mac]