In an attempt to breathe a new lease of life into its portable PlayStation device, Sony announced that the next generation PSP – cleverly titled the Sony NGP – will ship alongside a new product called the PlayStation Suite.
PlayStation Suite is described as an online store that will provide downloadable PlayStation content to devices running Android 2.3 or higher as well as the NGP. Sony says that the PlayStation Suite is a direct response to the fact that the number of users who enjoy games casually on a variety of devices, including mobile phones, smartphones and tablet PCs, has been increasing significantly.
Sony hopes that by offering content directly to this booming market it will open up the PlayStation experience to a wider base of users, as well as giving developers and publishers an opportunity to expand their business.
A PlayStation Certified licensing programme for hardware manufacturers will offer a number of support services to potential developers in the hope that the delivery of PlayStation quality content will be seamless across various devices. The first step in this new approach will see Sony offering original PlayStation games to Android-based portable devices, mainly tablets.
Specific launch details and prices are still be the confirmed, but as the launch of both the new PSP and the PlayStation Suite isn’t expected until towards the end of 2011, we’d bet on further details being made available in June at the world’s biggest gaming expo, E3.
With Apple’s recently launched Game Centre up and running on its iOS-enabled devices, Sony might have a hard time catching up. But choosing Android, which recently become the world’s leading smartphone platform, Sony has made its intentions clear – it wants a slice of the very lucrative mobile gaming market.