PlayStation Vita OS could come to smartphones, tablets

Kazuo Hirai, the upcoming President and CEO of Sony Corporation, hinted at the idea that the company is interested in possibly porting the operating system of the PlayStation Vita handheld gaming console to other mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, reports The Verge. This information was revealed in a Q&A session that was reported on by Japanese site AV Watch.

"If you're asking if we've made it in a way that’s expandable, so that it's possible to apply to smartphones and tablets on top of achieving the high responsiveness we need for gaming devices - it is possible," Sony Computer Entertainment Senior Vice President Yoshio Matsumoto is quoted in AV Watch's report. "That doesn’t mean that we're applying it to smartphones and tablets at this point in time, but it's been designed with expandability in mind."

The PlayStation Vita, which has been available in Japan since last year, will be released in America and Europe this week for early adopters and next week for the general public. Its operating system is controlled entirely by touch screen - the hardware unit's physical buttons, including d-pad and twin joysticks, cannot currently be used to navigate through the operating system. While this might be something of a drawback for a handheld gaming system, it seems like a perfect fit for smartphones and tablets.

Sony currently produces smartphones and tablets that run Google's Android operating system. These devices have not proved successful for the company, with Sony Ericsson posting a $325 million loss for the 2011 fiscal year.

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24 Comments

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Sony said a possibility, not confirmed but hearing how ppl responded to Vita, I don't think it will pan out. Then again, the complain was having 2 devices (Smartphone and Vita) in your pocket looks silly and having just Vita as a smart phone would be smart move. Why didn't Sony think about this before? Hm....

I haven't used a Vita (obviously) but from what I've seen in videos, the UI and the stock apps look ugly (hideous in fact), simplistic, and not very functional compared to other mobile OSes. Right now the Vita has no app "ecosystem", and it's unlikely Sony will ever be able to catch up to the competition. Even WP with its 1% marketshare has over 50k apps, including many of the most popular mobile apps. Can Sony lure developers the way MS has? Doubtful. Additionally, Vita sales (in Japan) have been dismal so far. Clearly people aren't interested. I don't see how Sony thinks they can slap this crap on a phone and successfully compete with the established players in the mobile market. Sony phones already don't sell very well, so slapping on a brand new (and ugly imo) OS with no apps probably won't help the situation. Sounds like this is all talk/conjecture.

I'm tempted to get a Vita since it can deliver console quality games on the go, but so far there are no must have games, and I feel the device (and games, and accessories) are waaaaaaaay too expensive. Additionally, with smartphones rapidly getting more and more powerful, I believe that soon phones will also be able to deliver near console quality games and will eventually replace dedicated portable gaming systems. The 3DS and the Vita will probably be the last dedicated portable gaming systems made, just my guess. For now I think I'll stick to my Android phone and old GBA for my portable gaming needs

I think Sony should stop making portable game units and just do what Sega did. Port all your games over to popular platforms and sell them.

Sony has lost its console edge too. It's time to get out while you aren't to far behind to save face.

I'm all for CHOICE but having too many is just confusing fit the consumer. Having a OS that's on par with web os and BlackBerry OS is just wrong.

Sony has had a hard time fitting in with the other Android kids. Maybe it would be good for them to sport a totally unique style.

It's hardly the best looking OS. Personally I found it to be too childish (especially those bubble icons) and not modern enough. But I guess it's a really touch-friendly and efficient design.

Well, they aren't doing so well with Android, since HTC and Samsung have taken all the glory. This may actually be a good idea.
A risky idea, but it could work.

FMH said,
Well, they aren't doing so well with Android, since HTC and Samsung have taken all the glory. This may actually be a good idea.
A risky idea, but it could work.

By alienating themselves even more with a new app marketplace to start from?
This is like saying: If you have a hard time catching up, it's best to reset to lap 0 and try catching them with a blue instead of red car.

I think it's about bringing more cash home through game licenses.
(As I said above somewhere already)

GS:mac

drazgoosh said,
The interface for PS Vita is very nice, but would it really fit a tablet or smartphone? Not so sure.

It's different from the other OS's. I like the flow and response. The icons/tiles are a bit big but once you get used to it, should be cool. It would all come down to developer support. Can they make it work?

The Teej said,
The whole OS? Does that mean, in theory, games developed for the Vita could be played on smartphones and tablets?

That's pretty much the only thing they would care about with that OS.
As they now have Android on some of their phones, this would be a definite try to get more revenue from game licenses as there are more devices out there capable of playing the game.

It surely would mean games wouldn't be Vita only.

GS:mac

n_K said,
Wow, selling THAT badly, not a good sign for sony.

I don't get how you came to that conclusion? This is like saying the PSP was selling really badly so they ported the XMB to Bravia TVs (which isn't true).

dogmai79 said,

What's selling THAT badly? Where are you getting your information?


'with Sony Ericsson posting a $325 million loss for the 2011 fiscal year.'

n_K said,

'with Sony Ericsson posting a $325 million loss for the 2011 fiscal year.'

Well yeah except Sony hasn't owned SE for most of the year and the Vita isn't even made in conjunction with SE, before or after the merger. Still makes no sense?