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Sony May Be Eying Smartphones, Tablets with Vita OS

By - Source: The Verge | B 14 comments

Sony hints that the PlayStation Vita OS could be used on a smartphone and tablet.

Japanese site AV Watch reports that comments from incoming (April) President and CEO Kazuo Hirai indicated that Sony may be looking to bring the PlayStation Vita OS to smartphones and tablets. Hirai made this revelation on Friday during a Q&A, reminding everyone that the Vita OS isn't just for gaming, that it's actually a mobile OS, hinting to the two aforementioned form factors.

"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," added SCE’s Senior Vice President Yoshio Matsumoto during the Q&A with reporters. "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."

Currently Sony is using Google's Android as its primary OS for smartphones and its two tablets. However the PlayStation Vita is very similar to a smartphone OS, sporting a host of applications (Twitter, Facebook, Netflix, Skype etc) and mobile functions (Web browser, location-based social networking, 3G connectivity, camera functions, etc). In appearance alone, it's easy to see the Vita's OS on a smartphone at the very least, but it's unknown how difficult it would be to bring the software to smartphone and tablet environments.

Sony's deputy president Kunimasa Suzuki also piped in a hint during the Q&A as to why we still haven't seen the actual PlayStation Suite which was revealed over a year ago. When questioned about the feasibility of porting popular smartphone apps to the Vita platform, Suzuki said that the PlayStation Suite will be expanded for that purpose.

"That's exactly why we're going to be putting energy into building up PlayStation Suite this year," he stated.

Sony already stated that exclusive titles will be developed for the PlayStation Suite in addition to providing PlayStation classics, but this little tidbit of information could mean that games may be cross-platform capable between Vita and PlayStation Suite-compatible devices. And as stated last year, the Vita will also receive exclusive content via the PlayStation Suite that can only be played on the Vita's hardware.

"SCE also plans to open PlayStationStore where users will be able to download content in an easy to use environment, directly via the Android based portable devices," Sony said last year. "Moreover, SCE will 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."

Sony said it planned to release PlayStation Suite content within the calendar year, but so far we haven't seen anything here in the States. Perhaps Sony decided to launch the Vita first?

Display 14 Comments.
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  • 9 Hide
    frozonic , February 13, 2012 4:45 PM
    another mobile OS = more competition, wich means the end user will have a better OS, i like this.
  • 7 Hide
    xenophorge , February 13, 2012 4:51 PM
    "Please insert Boot UMD, Memory Stick, or Beta"
  • 2 Hide
    dark_lord69 , February 13, 2012 4:59 PM
    xenophorge"Please insert Boot UMD, Memory Stick, or Beta"

    Well at least they got the BluRay thing right. Although it doesn't have as good of compression (uses an inferior codec) as HDDVD did...

    Make the PSVita Phone and I might consider buying one.

    Other than that I won't bother cause I'm not interested in mobile gaming. If I need to be mobile I can play on my phone (cause it's usually just me waiting in line) or if I will be away from my gaming devices for a while I can bring my laptop.

    But since I need a phone anyway if I can make that phone play better games then great!
  • 0 Hide
    spookie , February 13, 2012 5:20 PM
    I hope this wouldn't mean that developers would stop developing the best games for android...
  • 6 Hide
    Anonymous , February 13, 2012 5:25 PM
    As a PS Vita user for almost 2 months now, I must say that the OS is very user friendly and fluid. much better than the crap you find in the market today.

    However, as far as the hardware is concerned, it's too heavy to compete with smartphones. maybe on the tablet's end it could put up a fight (the screen size is perfect).
  • 0 Hide
    cptnjarhead , February 13, 2012 5:33 PM
    i used to think sony was on the right track, but lately i think they are heading in the wrong direction.
  • 0 Hide
    ap3x , February 13, 2012 6:10 PM
    I was not all that impressed with Vita OS when I saw the demo of it. I think I like the ribbon like the one on the PS3 allot better.
  • 0 Hide
    freggo , February 13, 2012 6:46 PM
    frozonicanother mobile OS = more competition, wich means the end user will have a better OS, i like this.


    The words "Sony" and "more competition" do not go well together !
  • 0 Hide
    zak_mckraken , February 13, 2012 7:03 PM
    My gut feeling is they'll fail at gaining noticeable market share, but they do have a good foundation with the PS platform to give it a shot.
  • -1 Hide
    balev , February 13, 2012 8:10 PM
    Sony, please redo Final Fantasy 7!
  • 2 Hide
    alidan , February 13, 2012 9:23 PM
    frozonicanother mobile OS = more competition, wich means the end user will have a better OS, i like this.

    no, this os is comeing from a company thats already hurting, and all its going to do if they go big and it doesnt get massive sales would be create another os that is largely abandoned.

    more os doesnt mean better os, it means more money devs have to sink into porting, android and ios are already big, and ms has a vested interest in cracking the market even if it costs them money to do it, sony is already hemorrhaging money,
  • 0 Hide
    phate , February 13, 2012 9:37 PM
    I'm with @alldan. Between all the current market players, the mobile market feels saturated at least from an OS standpoint.

    Android, iOS, WP7 ... Symbian and RIM which are diminishing... and of course WebOS which is basically defunct already.

    Great time to try and enter the market. What's next Sony going (try) to challenge Windows on the desktop front, with some barely used homegrown desktop OS?
  • 0 Hide
    de5_Roy , February 14, 2012 6:39 AM
    looka like sony didn't learn from the 'playstation phones'....
    may be it will find some kind of cult following :p 
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , February 14, 2012 9:40 PM
    Perhaps Sony realizes the danger of relying on one company for the core of their mobile phones. If Google changes its mind/policy/pricing then a lot of manufacturers would be SOL.
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