Sony made a big splash last month when they announced not only the next generation PSP, but also the Playstation Suite for Android devices and a mysterious little thing called Playstation Certified. But what exactly does that mean?
Playstation Certified had little more than a single paragraph in the Playstation Suite press release:
In providing the PlayStation experience on Android based portable devices, SCE will commence a “PlayStation®Certified” license program for hardware manufacturers. Through this program, SCE will offer necessary support, including development support as well as logo licensing, to ensure the delivery of PlayStation quality experience across various devices.
There are a couple of interesting things to note: Firstly, that the program is open to "hardware manufacturers". As in companies that aren't Sony branded. Given how insular Sony can be, this seems to be a huge step forward. Secondly, the mention of "logo licensing", which combines with the first point to indicate that companies that aren't Sony branded could end up rocking a Playstation logo.
But ultimately, the paragraph explanation adds more questions than it answers. Like what kind of minimum standards are involved? And whether or not we could actually see a Samsung branded (for example) Playstation phone in the future? We asked Sony for a bit more info, but they seemed reluctant to share more details:
"As part of PlayStation Suite project, we have announced a PlayStation Certified license program for handset manufacturers of which Xperia Play is the first of these devices announced. In terms of other hardware certifications, we really would not speculate or comment on any specific devices other than what has been announced. Xperia Play is exciting, as it shows how handset manufacturers working together with PlayStation can bring quality gaming experiences to users of Android devices." - Larissa Hazel, Head of Corporate Communications, Sony Computer Entertainment Australia.
When asked specifically about what requirements hardware manufacturers need to reach to become Playstation Certified, Sony dodged the question like it was a basketball and they were a nerd in Gym class. Given that neither the Playstation Suite or the Xperia Play have launched yet, maybe its too much to ask for specific details to a standard that may not even be finalised yet.
But if it is an indication of Sony opening up and being a more open in the use of their brands, this is a huge departure from Sony's traditional approach and an exciting development for Anroid gaming in general.