Assuming you are using a stock (non-rooted) Sony Xperia Play (Android 2.3 Gingerbread), this Reddit thread on How to use Android 2.3 Gingerbread in 2017 after a factory reset is informative.
The summary is don't factory reset. And if you do, the latest versions of the Google Services will overflow the limited storage capacity of the older device. GMS (Google Mobile Services) appears to be the culprit.
From the author:
In the days of GMS-everywhere the trick helps only so much: you do get some free internal space back, but lose the ability to use the phone beyond such complex activities as sending SMS or switching its screen on & off.
GMS contains > 300 services inside. On [author's phone] it oft aborts & fills /data/system/dropbox & /data/tombstones dirs w/ lengthy stack traces. The battery goes down the toilet, the phone frequently hangs (sometimes even reboots itself) & in general feels rather sluggish.
The only remedy seems to be to uninstall GMS. The device will indeed return to its normal state; Google Play will still work perfectly well, GMail & Google Maps will continue to work too, although Youtube won't, but at this point you don't care about Youtube any more.
So this is what I've ended up w/: there is no GMS or Google Play on the device & SystemUpdateService is disabled. The ancient phone feels slick & fast again! I don't use any fancy messengers thus I can't tell if any of them require GMS. My most used apps are:
- Gesture Search
- Opera Mini
- Google Maps
Author goes on to mention that new apps needs to be side-loaded or installed through other third-party store type apps.