Just as Engadget gets its hands on the still-unannounced PlayStation Phone, SCE hits us with this new mobile phone project: the PlayStation Suite.

In a nutshell, PS Suite is an Android initiative that will open up the PlayStation library to a range of Android owners with “PlayStation Certified” devices like phones and tablets. Details are light at the moment, but publisher Sony has confirmed its intent to port over PS One titles to Android via this new vehicle, which looks more like an extension to its downloadable platform PSN than anything else.

Interestingly, if PS Suite will resemble PSN, or even tie-in to it, there’s a good chance PS Suite subscribers might also get access to other forms of media like videos, themes, or even the Trophies achievement system. Sony isn’t talk about stuff other than games yet, so consider this all speculation on my part. However, I’ll note that Sony CEO Jack Tretton is teasing something in this PS blog post when he says, “we are also working with developers to create new and exciting content that will be available on both PS Certified devices and the NGP when it comes to market.”

It’s an interesting approach to the mobile gaming space that we haven’t seen from the other big two publishers, Microsoft and Nintendo. Sony is taking its platform straight to a range of phones, while Nintendo is producing its 3DS and Microsoft is pumping its resources exclusively into the Windows Phone 7. As for what PS Suite means to us, the iOS user, is more competition on the phone gaming market, which is never a bad thing. If someone raises a bar, the other has to respond. If PS Suite catches on, we might see growth in terms of more full-featured, console-like offerings on iOS.

There’s also a small chance that PS Suite could make its way to Apple’s devices. Note that Sony isn’t saying “exclusive” when it talks about Android, so its obviously leaving some wiggle room. Don't forget, last month we did report on Sony planning on bringing a curious official Sony app to the App Store with "tons more features" coming in the future.

And take double note of the PSP Minis initiative. Certainly, those will be part of the “exciting content” that’ll see released on the NGP and PS Suite, right?

Oddly enough, our first look at what will surely become a PS Certified device came from Engadget earlier this week when it somehow got its hands on an ever-elusive Sony Ericsson Xperia Play (or the “PS Phone.) Their rundown is solid from a technical angle and a rather good read from an iOS-centric point of view for the reasons I just discussed. No official Sony content is available on the platform quite yet (the phone still hasn't been announced), but it performs well with emulation, so that's a good indication that it'll be able to run what Sony is talking about well.

In all, Sony made some cool announcements yesterday that’ll bleed into our platform of choice if its moves are responded to by fans with Sony-branded devices. Obviously, we’ll have to wait to see if Apple feels like these are significant enough developments to feel like it needs to answer in the 5th generation, but it’s exciting nonetheless.

  • diffusion8r

    I'd rather play a proper game console. I've been a iOS fanboy for 2 years but going back to DS or even PSP and the whole gameplay experience is far, far superior. Dead Space is the only thing that has come close IMO.

    • Akira01

      "Dead Space is the only thing that has come close IMO."

      NO

    • Adams Immersive

      Depends on the game, of course.

  • http://twitter.com/KieranD Kieran D

    PlayStation on iOS is impossible. Sony are only working on open-source platforms, which iOS is not. Sony are free to develop whatever hardware they like, and grant 'PlayStation certified' status to that hardware on Android, but not on iOS. They would essentially create a selling point for the opposition (iPhones as oppose to Sony Xperia phones).

    • Daruul

      They are creating a selling point für HTC, Samsung and Motorola too, if they certify their devices for Playstation Suite.
      The whole Playstation Suite thing is like SEGAs move to abandon hardware developement to create games for Nintendo, Sony und later Microsoft in 2001.

      So if they are creating (or "releasing" would be a better word) games for competitors smartphones, it would be kinda stupid not to release the emulator (because that is all what Playstation Suite is, an officially released Playstation1 emulator) for the system where the money is - iPhones and iPod Touch'.
      Sure, they will likely use a different billing system for the android version of PS Suite than Google Checkout, most likely PSN payment options like credit card and prepaid cards, that will be a problem with Apple, but i think a iOS-port is something that will happen.

      • http://twitter.com/KieranD Kieran D

        Then you're deluded. Sony have no reason to enter the iOS marketplace. At all. Never mind that the emulation software would be unlikely to get past Apple's regulations, never mind that there aren't enough buttons (or multitouch screen real estate to make up for it) for PS1 games, never mind that they've specifically said it was being developed for open platforms (which iOS is not), it would still be completely illogical.

        Sony would make little money from it (as they would not be able to have their own market for it as they would on Android), and that people genuinely think this is possible is, to be honest, a bit hilarious.

      • spiffyone

        It's not that similar to SEGAs move abandoning home console hardware development (FYI, SEGA didn't abandon ALL hardware development, as they still make arcade hardware). Sony is going to release an "official" "PS Suite phone" under their Sony Ericsson brand (as the XPeria). They will then license and certify 3rd party phones to run the PS Suite in a similar way to how MS is tightly controlling WM7 phones. The difference between MS and Sony in this case, aside from Sony actually making their own phone in addition to certifying 3rd party phones (MS doesn't make their own WM7 phone), is that while MS is leveraging a mobile OS, Sony is leveraging their PlayStation brand.

        If you want to compare it to SEGA, then it's more along the lines of what SEGA did with Saturn when they licensed 3rd parties like JVC and others to sell their own branded Saturn hardware.

      • Daruul

        There's no sence in licensing PS Suite at all, they have been developing their own smartphone for this emulator, but now they give the software to other companies, who also develop their own hardware and compete with Sony Ericsson.
        They are licensing the tech instead of simply putting it in the marketplace, because they want to make sure that the devices are ready to run the games, so that they don't have to answer all those "I paid 10$ and now it won't run on my xy entry-level-Android"-mails, but licensing means they really don't care about their own hardware sales, but only about software sales.

        And software sales are something they will surely achieve by porting it to iOS.

        @ Kieran D:
        The control issues are a fact with all android devices except the Playstation Phone, because none of them except the official one will have the necessary buttons. The emulator will use virtual buttons on most of the devices.
        And ports like Tony Hawks, a direct PS One-port are working with virtual buttons too.

        Also, Playstation Suite is quite comparable to Manomios C64 and Amiga-emulators, which - after some issues with Apple, are (or soon will be) available on the Appstore.

        And even if they have to pay Apple 30% of their earnings (well, they won't earn 100% of the money generated by prepaid-PSN-cards sold in stores etc.), the Appstore generates much more money than the Android marketplace, because the people who are willing to pay for stuff are here, only seldom on Android.

        A possible 70% of 100.000 sales per week in the Appstore is quite a bit more income than 90% of 25.000 sales on Android per week.

      • spiffyone

        Not really. I think to be "certified" it would take more than just having the specs and layout that Sony specifies. There would be a fee involved of some sort. Basically the 3rd parties would pay a fee for the "honor" of being Sony PS Suite certified.

        Will it compete with Sony's own Xperia? Perhaps. But this is a way to grow the brand without having to invest heavily in hardware.

        Apple wouldn't go with Sony PS Suite certification because Apple likes to control their hardware with their software and make Apple the selling point. No real business sense in going for Suite certification there, and Apple wouldn't change their design anyway to meet such certification nor pay the fee that I think 3rd parties will have to for the "honor".

  • Paul Zammit

    Seriously diffusion8r?

    Monkey Island? Broken Sword? Infinity Blade? heh!

    Of course, I still have my DS, whilst my PSP was sold ages ago, due to lack of titles imo. The DS and the PSP are designed for gaming, iOS was designed as a multimedia/app platform. :)

    Though, I'll be interested if the pricing is right on the #NGP / PSP2

    • diffusion8r

      On my iPhone I only ever played in short bursts, and if on longer bursts I never truly enjoyed it loads although due to me getting used to it it felt like I did. I agree, on paper it seems like the iOS can easily live up to it.

      But I get my DS, put in Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, and I'm hooked and can't stop playing it. Put in Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time or Phantom Hourglass and again I can't tear myself away.

      I think, more than anything, it's the fact that Nintendo are the best developers in the world for pure gameplay brilliance (and DoS is also great and I like MetroidVanias). EA are doing a good job, and so are many indie developers, but nothing has the sort of magic you get from many DS Nintendo games.

      • Thaurin

        Phoenix Wright? Robocalypse? Other DS ports, maybe? I'm playing Crimson Gem (PSP port) quite a bit lately, but in shortish bursts. Is it the hardware, then?

      • diffusion8r

        Funny, as Phoenix Wright is the only game except for Game Dev (but that's for different reasons) that I have played non-stop.

        There are no other good plausable ports of any handheld games on the console.

      • saywhat

        Crimsom Gem Saga is probably one of the worst PSP RPGs out there right now. I agree with diffusion83, nothing on the iOS can come close to the quality, depth, polish and ultimately fun factor of the AAA titles on PSP and NDS.

        My personal favorites on the iOS are all ports from PSP or NDS eg GTA Chinatown, Civilization Revolution, Phoenix Wright, and Lego Harry Potter.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VS3CIN662LGP27KLLH3B6SZBWI ChrisC

    Man how sweet would it be to have FF7 on iOS. Hope this happens.

    • http://twitter.com/DeloreanDreams Marty MAC Fly

      This is exactly what I said to myself this morning!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1089737288 Wim Lauryssen

    Let's see. Playstation had

    4 Buttons on a d-pad
    2 analog sticks, each acting like another button (L3 and R3)
    4 face buttons
    L1, L2, R1, R2
    Start, Select

    While the layout will definitely be different on an Android phone, some android phones still have buttons. Good luck fitting all of those on the same touchscreen you're using to actually view the game.

  • Muddy B00ts

    Um I can already do this on my Droid1. There's an app in the market called Psx4droid and it costs like 6 bucks I think. I have FF 7,8, and 9 on my SD card at the moment. but Tony hawk works great too.

  • Anonymous

    Am I the only one not at all interested in re-living ancient PS games AGAIN? I feel most gamers my age may agree.

    Many have already completed everything interesting in the catalog when the PS1 came out. And again when the PS2 came out. And again when they fancied emulating them on the computer, and again on their "next gen" console. It was at that point they stopped caring.

    "FF7 on Android wow!!!"... err, no. Are you REALLY up for playing through the whole game for the twelfth time or is this just going to be another "I can impress you with my phone" moment...

    /naive

    • Anonymous

      It also features PSP games and new original games.

      • Anonymous

        New original games is enticing.

        The existing PSP catalog is not.

        Maybe I'm just getting picky in my old age but I've had a PSP since the get-go and still can't find a thing worth playing for longer than 2 minutes (which yes, usually only gets you to the 43rd introductory paragraph in a jrpg, but still).

      • Akira01

        NO

      • Anonymous
      • Akira0&

        "not PlayStation Portable titles that will be emulated here, despite Kaz Hirai's quote during the festivities. PR after the break!"

        NO

      • Akira01

        Test

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VS3CIN662LGP27KLLH3B6SZBWI ChrisC

      Dude why are so many developers porting the classics if what you are saying is true?

      • Anonymous

        Porting an existing game takes a tiny percentage of the resources required to make a new one. It's easy money.

        That, or the number of people that don't want to play the same game again is much smaller than I thought.

        Edit; You know what; I am totally forgetting the kids. Kids that didn't nail MGS or Parappa the Rapper are probably jumping for joy over this.

        I take it back.

    • Akira01

      Not that on iOS please. I 'm tired of crap old games from Sega (Shinobi 3 etc, etc...). this isn't to have old games from PSone (PSONE guys, not PS2, PsONE)

    • Akira01

      yep, IOS have Infinity Blade, GTA China Wars, Galaxy on Fire 2, Broken Sword, Dead Space, Real Racing 2, Chaos Ring, etc, etc...
      there is NO reason to have old game from 1990 platform...

    • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

      You're right. Sony needs to start with small scale games, and of course, they want to cash in on old work (Nintendo has done the same thing a million times).

      But I don't blame you for yawning at the prospect. It's been done. And FF7 can be found for about 5 bucks, to run on your PC. If people want this game, they can have it today, no need to wait until late 2011.

      (PS. Late 2011 means this thing will compete against the iPod Touch 5 Gen)

  • ajl2011

    I for one can't wait to start developing when the sdk drops, plus the vetted ps store (and the amazon store at that) should be great

  • Ghostman

    If the Xperia Play lets me play Resistence Retribution and Metal Gear Solid Peacewalker, the I'll sell my iPhone 3GS in a heartbeat.

  • http://twitter.com/ScottColbert Scott Colbert

    Cool news, and one more reason I'm glad I have an android.

  • spiffyone

    "If PS Suite catches on, we might see growth in terms of more full-featured, console-like offerings on iOS."

    Um...that's exactly what I DON'T want. The distinction between the markets should remain. Home console gaming, portable system gaming, and mobile platform gaming are distinct and have different game design and gameplay philosophies at work, as I alluded to earlier.

    • Akira01

      What a joke !!!

      • spiffyone

        what's a joke to you? That some people want "full featured console like offerings" on a mobile platform, or that I don't?

      • Akira01

        We are not in 2000 today, the mobile market move, change. you WANT play just mini-games on iOS. this is your problem, not the structure of this market today...

  • Akira01

    Why Toucharcade censored here ?

  • Mendoza

    I dont think that the PlayStation Suite will find it's way to iOS devices. For instance given the fact that Sony's new Xperia Play (a.k.a. PSPhone) runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, so it wouldn't be exactly wise to offer the same service to a competitor. They also said that not every Android supported phone will be able to utilize the PS Suite...

  • Tkun

    Heard about this late last night, really good news for us Android owners, considering there aren't many good games for Android at this moment.

  • http://twitter.com/VULTR3 Mike

    Call me crazy, but... I wanna try that thing out. I'll grab it from the QA guys at work when we get that pre-release, haha!

  • E_Domina

    What's the point? you can get psx4all and roms from the market already. not that i don't want this...

  • Henry

    Interesting but "with" or "without" Sony pushing Android gaming , Developers are already bringing full scale PSP game (not PS1) like this Tactical RPG (akin FFT style) on android "Spectral Souls - Resurrection of the Ethereal Empires" from HyperDevbox.

  • Dyscode

    why should Sony cut their own throats by delivering content to (one of) their strongest competitor devices?

    • http://twitter.com/VULTR3 Mike

      Much more sales across a huge device range. It's simple, really.

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