Sony's PlayStation Suite will put classic PSone games on millions of Android smart phones, but the company is looking to put its new service on a huge range of other devices too, including tablets, connected TVs and -- potentially -- even iPhones.
Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Kaz Hirai revealed the plan following the unveiling of Sony's new NGP handheld console and the spin-off Suite service, in a roundtable session with Japanese journalists reported by local site Andriasang. "We have a completely open stance with carriers and handset makers," Hirai said.
The company has already made it clear that PlayStation Suite (laughably abbreviated by the company to PSS) won't be restricted to Sony Ericsson's Android smart phones, such as the long-awaited Xperia Play PlayStation phone.
Sony is planning to offer 'PlayStation Certified' licences to other mobile makers, although it hasn't talked about the requirements for gaining such a licence, other than a need for handsets to be capable of running the PSS software to a decent standard.
Hirai said Android is just the start for PSS, however. "There are a variety of OSes, but we're focusing first on Android. There's also Windows, iOS and so forth, but we don't have the resources to make it compatible with everything from the start."
From Sony's perspective, this isn't a huge surprise. Its just-launched Music Unlimited streaming music service will be getting iPhone and Android apps in the near future, while its Sony Reader ebooks service has an Android app, and would have an iPhone app too, if Apple hadn't blocked it. Sony still sells tens of millions of its own devices, but when it comes to content services -- even games -- it's now much more open.
Will PlayStation Suite really make it to iOS or Windows Phone 7, though? Microsoft has made its Xbox Live community the core of gaming on its WP7 phones, while Apple has long-established rules about apps that try to install other games and apps directly on to its devices. In the latter case, payments would also be an issue if Sony didn't agree to charge for PSS games using Apple's own in-app payments, as the row over ebooks shows.
What might be easier is putting PSS on to connected TVs, resulting in PlayStation gaming without a console in sight. "We're not ruling out PSS even on products like Sony Internet TV if the adoption rate increases, or if it will
help push adoption greatly," said Hirai.