Today, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. held a press conference in Japan to unveil their successor to the PlayStation Portable (PSP) which is for now code-named NGP for “Next Generation Portable.” Alongside of that announcement, they also unveiled plans for a cross-device online store which will deliver downloadable games to the new portable, as well as to Android devices for the first time (version 2.3 and later). Dubbed the PlayStation Suite, Sony plans to offer classic PlayStation 1 games for both platforms. “Through this entirely new initiative, users will be able to enjoy PlayStation content on an open operating system for the first time in PlayStation history,” according to the press release. The expected date for PlayStation Suite is by year end 2011.

Sony is also hoping that developers will create new games on this platform, offering a game development environment that will apparently allow for cross platform development.

While I’m all for Sony getting a piece of the mobile game pie, it won’t affect Apple’s business at all. On the store side, Apple has already proven itself able to attract game developers, offering a good SDK and amazing sales numbers if the game is any good. They also have momentum on their side, having been in this market for several years, while Sony has yet to even come to market, and will not do so until the end of the year. That’s another year for developers and Apple to crush it with new games and new hardware.

Then there’s the issue of cross-device games. The fact that most Android devices (except for perhaps Sony’s own new gaming phone) lack hardware game controls will present a problem for game developers. Do you move all the controls on to the touch screen, replicating dual analog sticks and four buttons? Or do you have to modify the control scheme? It’s potentially another hurdle for developers to jump.

That being said, I wish Sony the best of luck. Competition keeps innovation alive.

Article Via MobileCrunch

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