Sony Making 'S1' PlayStation Android Tablet
Turns out there's more than just a PlayStation phone forthcoming from Sony, there's also a PlayStation tablet.
So far Sony has put out only tablet prototypes, with no real news on a model that will actually reach production. But two independent sources have confirmed to Engadget that Sony is planning to release a new tablet, internally codenamed "S1," which will run Android 3.0 Honeycomb.
Apparently, the 9.4-inch tablet will run a custom skin of Sony's own design over the top of the sleek new Honeycomb interface. Sony is said to have put together a design team of engineers from several internal departments. Once source says the Vaio computer arm of Sony is leading the project, although the S1 won't launch under the Vaio brand.
Sony plans to create a content ecosystem similar to that of the iPad, with music, games, e-books and videos all coming through Sony's Qriocity service. The S1 will come with PS One games preloaded and will be PlayStation Suite- certified , meaning it can interact with many other forms of PlayStation media. Such a focus on gaming would make the S1 stand out among the sea of tablets flooding the market, all of which treat gaming almost as a secondary function.
Based on clues about the tablet's design, the S1 has an unusual look: a large "wrap" design, with the side of the device curling back, almost like a magazine folded back for easier handling. Indeed, handling seems to be the major impetus behind the design. The curl makes it easier to hold with one hand, and most of the weight will be in the curled portion, keeping the center of gravity closer to the hand and reducing torque on the wrist. The Notion Ink Adam has a similar bulge in one side for easier handling. It's not yet clear how big the curve will be and how bulky it will make the S1 tablet.
Hardware specs include a Tegra 2 processor, 1,280-by-800 pixel resolution, front- and rear-facing cameras, and a USB port. There's still internal discussion over whether there should be a dedicated "Q" button that would instantly bring up the Qriocity service, much as the "f" button does with Facebook on new Facebook phones .
Sources say the Sony S1 tablet will ship in a Wi-Fi-only version for $599 ($100 more than the cheapest Wi-Fi iPad) sometime in September. Apparently the release date has already been pushed back several times, though.