Taking a hardware-neutral approach, Sony will be making PlayStation games available on Android 2.3 Gingerbread (a minimum requirement to play) smartphones, tablets, and handsets. Available via the PlayStation Suite, Sony is saying that initially PlayStation One (PS One) games will be available through emulation and the company will be creating a PlayStation Certified label to attract developers and creators of quality games.
With Sony’s action on Android, it seems that Android will get competitive high-end games that will attract more attention and help the company take the apps and gaming battle against Apple’s iOS platform. Android’s major stumbling block so far is that the platform has thus far failed to attract quality gaming titles in the same way that Apple’s App Store has. In the past, developers have cited Android’s DRM mechanism, difficulty in promoting apps, and fear of piracy as some concerns for not wanting to port or create titles for Android.
There’s still one handset that wasn’t announced at the PlayStation event in Japan, and that’s the rumored Sony Ericsson PlayStation Phone, otherwise referred to as the XPERIA Play handset. That handset is speculated to arrive at Mobile World Congress in February.
Sony’s rather bold move to be hardware-agnostic and inclusive of other Android market will hopefully help the company expand its market for PlayStation games and attract developers who may otherwise be tempted by other platforms. That said, it is great for consumers and gives them choice beyond Sony-branded hardware.
The full press release of Sony’s announcement is copied below:
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.