Will the PlayStation Vita OS land on smartphones, tablets?

Sony's incoming CEO Kaz Hirai says that the PlayStation Vita operating system was designed to be "expandable" to other platforms.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
Will we see the PlayStation Vita OS come to smartphones and tablets?
Will we see the PlayStation Vita OS come to smartphones and tablets? Sarah Tew/CNET

As Sony prepares to launch the PlayStation Vita in the U.S., the company is also considering bringing it to other mobile devices at some point in the future.

Speaking recently in a question-and-answer session with reporters, Sony's incoming chief executive Kazuo Hirai said that the operating system running on the PlayStation Vita was intentionally designed to be "expandable," and could work on both smartphones and tablets.

"If you're asking if we've made it in a way that's expandable, so that it's possible to apply to smartphones and tablets on top of achieving the high responsiveness we need for gaming devices--it is possible," Hirai reportedly told reporters, according to Japanese Web site AV Watch. "That doesn't mean that we're applying it to smartphones and tablets at this point in time, but it's been designed with expandability in mind."

Sony's PlayStation Vita has been on store shelves in Japan for months. The device comes with a 5-inch OLED touch screen, graphics that can nearly match the PlayStation 3's, and dual thumbsticks to entice developers to port some of their more sophisticated console titles to the device.

The Vita's software includes a host of applications users can tap to access, including a browser, camera, and location-based social-networking program. The software also comes with Facebook, Skype, Twitter, and Netflix apps, among others. It's not clear how easy it would be for Sony to port the operating system to smartphones and tablets.

Sony currently runs Android in its smartphones and tablets. However, those devices have not proven so successful, which could have paved the way for Hirai and his team to at least consider porting Vita OS to other devices.

Mobile success is just one of the many issues confronting Hirai as he prepares to take over Sony in April. His company's financial performance is plummeting along with its stock price, the PlayStation 3 can't seem to find a way to beat the Xbox 360 in the U.S., and Sony's HDTV division is in disrepair. The once-dominant consumer electronics company is in deep trouble.

The PlayStation Vita's official U.S. launch date is February 22. However, those who pre-ordered the Vita First Edition Launch bundle will receive it on Wednesday.

Read CNET's review of Sony's PlayStation Vita: Sony PlayStation Vita (3G/Wi-Fi)

(Via The Verge)