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Sony May Be Eying Smartphones, Tablets with Vita OS

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?