Everyone and their mother wants to break into the emerging multimedia tablet market. You can now apparently add Sony to that list. Apple pioneered the idea with its iPad, and now some of the biggest technological breakthroughs in the industry are coming to tablets.
For example, LG is already planning a “glasses-free 3D” tablet, and Motorola will be doling out the first to use Google’s brand spanking new Android 3.0 operating system.
Now, a report from Engadget claims that Sony is working on a tablet that will be focused on one thing – games. The “S1” tablet will run Android 3.0, Honeycomb, and it being headed up by the company’s Vaio computer team.
It will focus on Qriocity, a digital download service from Sony that allows users to download music, e-books, videos and games on the go. The service was just launched in Europe.
According Engadget, the S1 has been granted “PlayStation Certification” from Sony, which is the same phrase used for Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Play phone – also known as the Playstation phone.
In fact, it sounds like the S1 and the Xperia Play will have a lot in common. Both will be powered by Android and have connectivity to the Playstation Network. It begs the question whether the S1 and the Xperia Play will both run the same apps and games, a la the iPad and iPhone. Sure there will probably be games developed exclusively for the S1, but it would make sense to use the same basic development tools for both devices.
The use of the phrase “PlayStation Certified” also leads to believe that other tablet makers will be able to offer the same Playstation gaming experience. Earlier this year, Sony announced it would allow third-party smartphone manufacturers to make phones with Playstation certification.
It all adds up to a new strategy for Sony, as it looks to mimic Appple in the handheld space. Its PSP portable system sold well, but never really ignited the industry. The S1, Xperia Play, and Playstation certification program, show radical changes for the company that could make a big difference in the way people look at the Playstation brand in the future.