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Sony's S1 tablet to blend PlayStation gaming with Android 3.0 Honeycomb

Sony is the latest company to hop on board Google's Android tablet bandwagon, according to a report. It's working on a PlayStation-certified device running the Honeycomb software.

Excited by Sony's NGP handheld or Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play smart phone? Wait till you hear what Sony is planning for this autumn. The company is reportedly working on a tablet running the Android 3.0 Honeycomb software, which will be fully PlayStation-certified.

The device is the work of Sony's Vaio division, according to Engadget's report. It has plenty of details too, claiming the device -- codenamed S1 -- will have a 9.4-inch screen, come with preloaded PSOne games, and will be tied into Sony's Qriocity services for music and video, along with the Sony Reader ebooks store.

It sounds as though the design could be pretty special too, described as mimicking "an open paperback stuffed into the back pocket, or a magazine folded backwards upon itself such that only a single page is visible to read". The device's weight is said to be shifted towards its "bulbous edge" to make it more comfortable in your hands.

The PlayStation angle presumably comes from Sony's PlayStation Suite service, which was recently announced and is making its debut in the Xperia Play. Extending it to tablets -- especially Sony's own -- makes abundant sense. That said, we're dubious about the appeal of playing hoary old PSOne games on a tablet, especially when set against the top tier of games available for Apple's iPad, such as Infinity Blade and Rage HD.

Further details suggest the S1 will have an Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, 1,280x800-pixel resolution on the screen, and front and rear cameras. There may well be just two physical buttons -- volume and on/off -- and a built-in IR port will help the device be used as a giant remote control for other devices, such as Bravia TVs. The planned launch date? September, with a US price pegged at $599 (£370) for the Wi-Fi-only version.

That's not all on the Sony-Honeycomb front, either. Engadget claims to know of a second Sony device on the way, but declines to reveal any details other than a link to this patent for a dual-screen tablet.

There are already several impressive tablets on the way this year, such as the HTC Flyer, LG Optimus Pad and the BlackBerry PlayBook. Sony's S1 looks set to give them -- and Apple's iPad 2 for that matter -- a run for their money.