Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sony Announces PlayStation Tablets

Sony is embracing Android and its own PlayStation Suite software in a big way -- expect two new tablet devices by the fall of this year.

Here's some Sony news that doesn't (directly) involve PSN for once: the company has announced two new tablet computers, both of which are equipped with Android 3.0 and Sony's PlayStation Suite software.
Sony Announces PlayStation Tablets
The S1 tablet features a 9.4 inch display and an "off-center of gravity design" which apparently "realizes stability and ease of grip [...] offering comfortable use for hours."

The S2 tablet curiously features two 5.5 inch displays that can be folded up. The two screens can either be used as one large display (with a big back bar in the middle) or two separate displays -- for example, playing video on the top and displaying controls at the bottom.

Both tablets feature WiFi and 3G/4G wireless access. They're ready for use with Sony's Qriocity music and video service (assuming it's fixed by the fall) and PlayStation Suite, previously seen on the Xperia Play cellphone. Gamers will be able to "immerse themselves in high quality first generation PlayStation titles" -- though this may be more difficult on these tablets thanks to their apparent lack of hardware buttons. There's also an eBook reader with access to Sony's Reader Store.

The S1 tablet features infrared technology and can be used as the world's biggest universal remote for Bravia devices. DLNA functionality also allows users to wirelessly "throw" music and video to compatible TVs and wireless speakers, much like Apple's AirPlay technology used in the latest iPhone, iPod and iPad models.

No news yet on an exact release date other than "fall 2011" -- and no information on pricing either. Given that Sony describes its new tablets as "complement[ing] network services," let's hope its PSN and Qriocity woes are resolved by the time they release.

(c/o Pete Davison @ Gamepro)

I find it strange that they are releasing TWO tablets, not just one. Given that these guys AREN'T the first to a suddenly flooded market of tablet PC's, wouldn't you want to really develop a strong product that would mushroom the competition in quality instead of diverting attention to TWO products instead? Only time will tell.


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