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Sony’s New Tablets Will Play Some 1996 Console Titles – Yay

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Sony has been trying hard to generate buzz for their upcoming S1 and S2 tablets, with a series of teaser videos that have been posted to YouTube. Getting slightly less vague with each one, the third one has now arrived and it gives us a couple more morsels of information. Chief among those is that the tablets appear to be playing Playstation One games (in this case, Crash Bandicoot) – much like the Xperia Play does.

Simulated with on-screen virtual controller

This likely relates to the Playstation Suite, a hub for PSone gaming to launch on select Android devices sometime in 2011. It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything about the launch, so it would make sense that Sony would be holding it back to introduce on its own tablets.

While nothing official has been announced regarding the addition of PS2 games, Sony apparently hasn’t ruled it out and is “looking into every possibility.”

It’s nice that we can play a console platformer from 1996, but any Android phone or tablet with a good PS1 emulator can already do that (even though they were pulled from the market they are still attainable). While PS2 games could be a nice perk (depending which of that generation’s classics could be licensed and ported), is this really something gamers are going to throw a few hundred bones down for when the iPad has games that are starting to show signs of rivaling current generation consoles?

A frame from Sony's video, showing Crash in action on the S2

Playing 15-year-old console titles without an emulator may make for an interesting blog post, but it ultimately isn’t much of a selling point on these tablets. Give us LittleBigPlanet, Uncharted, and God of War – then gamers will have a reason to buy the S1 or S2. Of course Sony isn’t likely to do this anytime soon, as they would be competing against their own upcoming Vita (PSP sequel).

Releasing a new dedicated portable gaming system and porting ancient console titles to a tablet are a recipe for getting left behind. Devices are becoming more and more unified. As great as the Vita’s capabilities will be, it won’t likely be long before tablets are on par with its gaming horsepower. Then what?

The smart move by Sony – the move that thinks ahead instead of just throwing another novelty onto the market – would be to incorporate the Vita’s gaming abilities (and titles) into their tablets. Then Android would have a real gaming powerhouse that could shame the iPad’s lineup. Sony is one of the only companies that could do this, with its excellent lineup of Playstation-exclusive franchises.

Are we wrong? Are any of you psyched about the S1 and S2 just for its having the Playstation Suite? Check out the promo video below and let us know in the comments:

Source: Android Community via Slashgear

Having previously written for Android Central and Android Police, Will is shifting his focus to iOS at GottaBeMobile (without neglecting his old pal Android, of course). He lives in Chicago with his wife, Jess, and is on Twitter at @willshanklin

2 Comments

  1. Michael Anderson

    07/19/2011 at 5:48 pm

    I came ready for some insightful scathing comments about Sony’s cluelessness and how unless they vertically integrate they are doomed on ALL fronts … but you took them all!  :D

    But aside from agreeing with pretty much everything you said, the one thing I need to point out is that as of now Sony have made it so that you cannot use your PSN purchased PSP / PSOne games on the XPeria Play.  To an extent I ‘get’ the PSP games, but stuff like Final Fantasy VII?  

    C’mon Sony!  If they had THAT capability rather than making us all re-buy yet again, it might help convince someone to buy some of this stuff!

  2. Anonymous

    07/20/2011 at 3:02 am

    Its always funny to hear people criticize Sony to just, criticize Sony. It seems to be the thing today.

    I think they are doing an exceptional job. They know the gaming market better than this blogger does. The S1 or S2 isnt designed to be a full gaming device with PS2 or whatever graphics on it. It is a tablet and a lot of people dont use tablets for gaming. CASUAL GAMERS however use the gaming but they want CASUAL GAMES. Its just media hype and is an added feature that comes in tablets for CASUAL GAMING.

    . If this tablet sells well, more developers will make games that work on the Sony tablet better than any other android device.

    “As great as the Vita’s capabilities will be, it won’t likely be long before tablets are on par with its gaming horsepower. Then what?”

    The app prices will go up and the CASUAL GAMER people wont buy those games thats what… Hence the Vita for the HARDCORE GAMER and the 15 year old ported games for the tablets for CASUAL GAMERS. It keeps the price down and CASUAL GAMERS happy. 

    Remember, you have to think before trying to criticize to just criticize.

    Tech Guy Chris

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