Engadget reports that Sony has a gaming and media tablet, codenamed S1, at an advanced stage of development, which runs on the Android 3.0 operating system, Honeycomb, and has a 9.4 inch screen.
Two sources have confirmed that Sony is customising the Honeycomb interface to its own specification, with work being done by an engineering team spanning its Vaio, Reader, PlayStation and Sony Ericsson divisions.
The device will be integrated with Sony’s online media streaming service Qriocity, and most importantly for gamers will be a PlayStation Certified device, making it compatible with the cross-platform PlayStation Suite that Sony detailed when announcing its PSP successor, Next Generation Portable, last month.
This means it will be capable of running PSOne classics as well as a host of original games and applications created using PlayStation Suite’s hardware-neutral framework. Games will also be compatible with NGP, Xperia Play and other Android devices.
The tablet sports a “wrap” design intended to mimic a paperback folded back on itself, and includes Nvidia’s Tegra 2, the first dual-core mobile processor. Engadget has been told a WiFi-supporting model is to be priced at $599, a $100 markup on Apple’s iPad, the current king of the tablet market. The device is reportedly set for release in September but sources say that date has already slipped several times.
Sony hinted that it had a PlayStation-linked tablet in development at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last month, when president Kaz Hirai said the firm’s strategy “encompasses driving the development of a variety of new strategic products and services including tablets currently in development.”