There are already some awesome video games for Google Android. Dungeon Defenders, Asphalt 3D, and Dungeon Hunter HD have ridiculously impressive 3D graphics. Robo Defense and Angry Birds are two of the most addictive strategy games I’ve ever played. But for every amazing Android video game, there are at least a dozen equally impressive titles for iOS. That could change soon. Sony has announced that it will soon launch the PlayStation Suite for Android, bringing PlayStation-quality games and game developers to the platform.
At launch, the PlayStation Suite will essentially be an emulator letting you play old PSOne games, which you’ll be able to purchase and download from Sony’s store. Of course, you can already install a third party emulator for a similar experience, but that requires finding or ripping your own PlayStation ROMs which may or may not be entirely legal.
But playing old games in an emulator is just the tip of the iceberg. Sony is also providing a framework for developers to build new games which will work not just on upcoming Sony handhelds and phones, but on any Android phone that meets the minimum hardware and software requirements. Right now, it looks like you’ll need Android 2.3 and up to use the PlayStation Suite, which means it’s not going to run on most existing handsets — at least not until software updates become available.
Sony’s move could dramatically increase the availability of high quality games for Android. Sure, developers can already use Google’s SDK to code games for the platform, but by starting with a PSOne emulator, Sony could instantly make dozens or even hundreds of games available. As for new titles, I suspect Sony may have more pull with game developers than Google, due to its long history in the space. Of course, it means you’ll have to download yet-another-app-store for your phone or tablet, but if you’re serious about gaming, that shouldn’t be a big problem.
While you’ll probably get the best experience on official PlayStation devices with physical gamepads, but Sony’s software will also provide on-screen D-Pads and buttons.
Sony still hasn’t officially unveiled the Sony Ericcson PlayStation phone, which everyone knows is coming at this point. But the company did unveil the PlayStation Portable NGP — a new handheld gaming device which will features a 5 inch OLED display, Bluetooth, WiFi, and 3G capabilities, two analog joysticks, a motion sensor, and two cameras. Oh yeah, it will also have a quad-core ARM Cortex A9 processor, a 960 x 544 pixel screen resolution and a multitouch display.