Sony just dropped a bomb on the Japanese stage -- not a single PlayStation Phone, but a PlayStation Phone experience for everybody. The company unveiled a cross-platform software framework called PlayStation Suite, which sounds rather boring in those words, but what it amounts to is an official PlayStation Store filled with games for your Android tablets and cellphones. Sound familiar? Sony's starting with an emulator for existing PSOne titles and is promising an Android game store later this year, but soon it might be much, much more: the company's calling PlayStation Suite a "hardware-neutral" development framework to make games portable for all sorts of handhelds, and says that "new and exciting content" is also on the way.
Sony will sponsor a first-party licensing and quality-assurance scheme called PlayStation Certified, and provide the marketplace as well, likely hoping to attract major game developers to build top-tier titles for mobile and get a piece of the action too. If your device doesn't have a pop-out gamepad handy, it looks like PlayStation Suite will emulate touchscreen controls, and you won't necessarily need a phone to get in on the action, as Sony says the next-generation PlayStation Portable will be compatible with games developed for PlayStation Suite right off the bat. Doesn't look like we're getting any details on game prices or compatible devices, but we imagine one particular phone will change all that at Mobile World Congress next month.
Update: Looks like PlayStation Suite requires Android 2.3 at a minimum, and it's PSOne, not PlayStation Portable titles that will be emulated here, despite Kaz Hirai's quote during the festivities. PR after the break!
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SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT TO UNVEIL "PLAYSTATION®SUITE," DELIVERING THE WORLD OF PLAYSTATION® TO ANDROID™ BASED PORTABLE DEVICES
Simultaneously Launching "PlayStation®Certified" License Program to Provide PlayStation® Content and Development Support for Android™ Based Portable Devices
Tokyo, January 27, 2011– Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCE) today unveiled "PlayStation®Suite" (PS Suite), delivering the PlayStation® experience to Android™ based portable devices*1. Through this entirely new initiative, users will be able to enjoy PlayStation content on an open operating system for the first time in PlayStation history. In the dramatically evolving and diversifying mobile market, the number of users who enjoy games casually on a variety of devices including mobile phones, smart-phones and tablet PCs, has been increasing significantly. By offering "PlayStation quality" content to this rapidly growing market, SCE will not only deliver the PlayStation experience to a wider base of users around the globe, but will also be able to offer game developers and publishers the potential to further expand their business opportunities to these devices.
In providing the PlayStation experience on Android based portable devices, SCE will commence a "PlayStation®Certified" license program for hardware manufacturers. Through this program, SCE will offer necessary support, including development support as well as logo licensing, to ensure the delivery of PlayStation quality experience across various devices.
On the software front, SCE plans to provide PS Suite content within this calendar year, starting with original PlayStation games*2 (PS one® classics) that will allow users to enjoy "PlayStation quality" gameplay on their Android based portable devices. SCE also plans to open PlayStation®Store where users will be able to download content in an easy to use environment, directly via the Android based portable devices. Moreover, SCE will provide a new game development environment in an effort to ensure new and compelling content is delivered on PS Suite, which will also offer opportunities for a wider base of developers and publishers to further expand their business on various portable devices.
Newly developed content for PS Suite can also be enjoyed on the next generation portable entertainment system (codename: NGP), which SCE announced today. Users who have never experienced PlayStation content can get a taste of the PlayStation experience through PS Suite and from there, they can enjoy the ultimate portable entertainment experience that is only possible on NGP.
SCE will vigorously enhance the entertainment world delivering the PlayStation experience to a wider base of users.
*1 Android™ 2.3 or beyond is required.
*2 PS one game console software title. We will announce the tiles when ready.