An old adage states that if you can't beat 'em, join 'em... and recent comments from Sony Computer Entertainment boss Kaz Hirai suggests that Sony may be willing to do just that.
PlayStation Suite, a new digital distribution platform for emulated PSOne games, will roll out this year on Android handsets, but Hirai suggests that this is just the tip of a much larger iceberg.
Speaking in a high-level PlayStation conference, the chief exec explained that SCE will be starting a cross-platform initiative that could see the service appear on both iOS and Windows Phone 7.
"There are a variety of operating systems, but we’re focusing first on Android. There’s also Windows, iOS and so forth, but we don’t have the resources to make [PlayStation Suite] compatible with everything from the start," Hirai revealed.
"We have a completely open stance with carriers and handset makers."
Seeing PlayStation gaming appear on a wide range of platforms would be an exciting and inclusive move that could potentially shake up the mobile software marketplace, but there are a few potential conflicts of interest that may blow Sony's "open stance" out of the water.
Sony Ericsson's prototype 'Zeus' phone – a.k.a. the Xperia Play – is one of the worst-kept secrets in the gaming and mobile industries (with new leaks and specs turning up nearly every week) – and its unique selling point is the potential to emulate Playstation titles.
SCE and Sony Ericsson have a long history of butting heads and mixing messages, and the ability to play PSOne games on competing handsets could cause major headaches for the as-yet-unannounced device.
A more obvious threat naturally comes from Apple and Microsoft. Apple's recent rejection of the Sony Reader from the App Store is an unmistakable statement of intent, meaning that Sony will need to convince the market leader that PlayStation Suite won't be a threat to their bottom line. Given that it's not made by Apple itself, that's probably the end of that discussion.
But enough nay-saying. If the initiative works – and Apple bites – it would provide an entirely new avenue for App purchases and put a severe dent in Microsoft's game-centric WP7 strategy. We'll bring you the latest as this story develops.