Developers urged to push content onto Android devices
Sony hopes to ensure its development partners have amble opportunity to release successful games on the new PlayStation Phone (known as the Xperia Play).
The company has confirmed that its new software platform, the PlayStation Suite, will be compatible with the game-playing smartphone.
PlayStation Suite, to launch later this year, is a platform that will let developers deliver PlayStation content to Android devices. This can include ports of older PlayStation (and perhaps PS2) games, but Sony is urging devs to create new content for Android.
Sony will also make the PlayStation Store “directly available to Android based portable devices” such as Xperia Play.
The measures – seen by some as drastic, by others as highly ambitious – will break a fifteen-year tradition of PlayStation platform exclusivity.
Xperia Play will run on Android version 2.3, nicknamed Gingerbread. Sony Ericsson said this means the device “will have access to PlayStation game content provided through the PlayStation Suite initiative, currently under development by Sony Computer Entertainment and due to launch later this calendar year.”
SCE president Kaz Hirai said Xperia PLAY “provides a unique consumer offering and is yet another example of great products and services coming to market that leverage Sony's strong assets."
In January Sony pledged to “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.”
Android device manufacturers that want to incorporate the PlayStation Suite will need to enter a PlayStation Certified licence programme.
“Through this programme, SCE will offer necessary support, including development support and logo licensing, to ensure the delivery of quality PlayStation experiences across various devices,” Sony said.
The platform holder spoke of a “dramatically evolving and diversifying mobile market” as key to its new direction.
“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,” Sony said in a statement last month.
“By offering quality PlayStation 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.”