Sony’s PlayStation Meeting wasn’t just about announcing the Next Generation Portable. In fact, Sony opened the show talking about how popular smartphones had become. Sony Ericsson has been allowed to address this with the Xperia Play, an Android powered smartphone that is expected to be officially announced next month. It seemed the Xperia Play would be the only way to get the PlayStation experience on a phone. That has proven to not be true now that PlayStation Suite has been introduced.
PlayStation Suite is an initiative Sony is taking to bring the PlayStation brand to all Android devices that qualify. Only devices running Android 2.3 or greater will be supported with PlayStation Suite. PlayStation Suite will provide PSOne games, but has not yet announced which games will be available. Sony will also allow developers to create new games for PS Suite. PS Suite is expected to be released sometime this year.
After learning of this announcement, I feel that we put a little too much emphasis on the Xperia Play. We’ve romanticized the idea of a PlayStation phone for so long, we didn’t really consider the idea that the brand may not be native to one device. We don’t need the Xperia Play to officially play PlayStation games on a phone. It also makes me feel that I don’t need to jump through as many hoops as necessary to get the Xperia Play when it releases.
I do believe Xperia Play is the definitive device to experience PlayStation Suite. Not all Android phones will have physical buttons to play PSOne games, let alone the trademark PlayStation control setup.
It’s great Sony is expanding into the Android market. It’s even better it will have a PlayStation Certified program in place to ensure capable phones get the same experience. Android hardware fragmentation is a big issue, and Sony has clearly taken steps to address that.