What’s going on with Sony, Android and Google?

Yesterday we witnessed Google TV open it’s web-doors and it reminded me of a common thread between Sony and Google.

Nov 2009 saw Sony announce it was releasing a Xperia phone using Android OS

May 2010 saw Sony announce the first TV to feature Google TV, it’s a fair guess that it’s running a variant of Android.

“I am delighted to announce the unique alignment of Google’s rapidly growing, open source Android platform with Sony’s unparalleled expertise in the field of TV design and technology.” - Sony’s Chairman, CEO and President, Sir Howard Stringer

In addition to this alignment there’s also lots of rumours about things you’d associate with an Android device:

Aug 2010 rumours around Gamescom about Rear Touch, whilst Rear touch isn’t specific to Android, touch alone is something we’ve not seen on a Sony device.

Sept 2010 - PlayStation looking for Android developers. This could be anything from partner marketing apps, PSP2 systems or Google TV PSN connector?

Sept 2010 sees Yoshida-san say “Future platforms will be developer-friendly”, could this be an Android based PSP2? It’d certainly be a damn sight easier to make games using a common open-source OS and Sony have been long term fans of open-source platforms such as Linux as we saw when they used to let you install it on your PS3. And many developers will know that all the early development software for their consoles that comes from Japan is typically Linux based, which is a royal PITA.

Sept 2010 saw Shaun Himmerick ‘confirms’ the next PSP in his PAX10 interview. Well, all he did was recognise it’s existence.

Does this mean anything? Is it leading anywhere? Who knows but there’s a lot of pieces out there. Yes, I did work at Sony but it doesn’t mean I know anything more than anyone else as I’m sure you can imagine how limited information is in a large corporation and it wouldn’t be the 1st time that everyone else got to find out before the people closest knew.

Maybe it’s wishful thinking but I really hope they do use Android, it’d make all of the game developers lives an awful lot easier and gain some of the ground lost to Microsoft and Apple, who both make it an absolute doddle to make games for their platforms.

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