Just rebuilt my pump over the weekend. There is no play detectable in the bearing itself, but there is a small amount of play in the way the bearing fits into the pump. It is held in place with a circlip. My old bearing was a snug fit within the housing, due to the dirt of thirteen years and 138k miles, and a bit of light corrosion.
I only realised my bearing was on the way out a few weeks ago due to the noise transmitting through the fluid to the steering box and up the steering column. Best way to tell the condition of the PS pump would be to remove the belt and see how the bearing feels when rotated. Mine was rough. Don't have AC so don't know about that one.