updated 04:05 am EST, Thu January 27, 2011
PlayStation Suite brings PS1 to Android early
Alongside the Next Generation Portable, Sony at its PlayStation Meeting event brought out a platform for bringing PlayStation games to non-PSP devices. PlayStation Suite brings games to any device with an "open operating system" that meets a PlayStation Certified level of performance. PlayStation 1 games like Syphon Filter will be in the first batch, but Sony hopes to have Suite-specific games.
The titles will run on the NGP as well as Android smartphones and tablets. Even some basic feature phones may support the Suite, Sony said. Devices that support the games will also support the PlayStation Store and should have access to videos and other content along with the core games. The openness requirement consciously excludes gaming rival Apple but would leave room for MeeGo or Linux.
Sony didn't provide a formal availability date for the Suite, but it will most likely go live in sync with the Xperia Play, better known as the PlayStation phone. The Android 2.3 device will be unveiled on February 13 and could ship in March.
Both the PlayStation Suite and the Xperia Play are considered integral to Sony's return to health in mobile gaming. Most, including Sony, have acknowledged that it missed the trend towards phone gaming and let the PSP lag without unveiling a sequel or adapting to smartphones, leaving it to resort to attack ads to challenge the iPhone after Apple stole share.
The Xperia Play is an above-average phone on the inside with a newer 1GHz Snapdragon chip, a five-megapixel camera and a four-inch 480x854 screen but will have dual optical sticks and other dedicated physical controls to replicate much of the PS1 experience.