Rumor: Sony planning 'S1' PlayStation gaming tablet

Imagine a 9.4-inch Sony tablet running Android Honeycomb and primed to play PlayStation-certified games.

Take Android, Honeycomb, a 9.4-inch slate, and Sony's PlayStation brand, and what do you get? Why a Playstation Certified gaming tablet, what else!

Imagine: Android 3.0 ("Honeycomb") on a 9.4-inch tablet with a 1280 by 800 pixel display, an NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, front and rear cameras, USB and infrared ports (plus the ability to drive Bravia TVs), a sprinkling of buttons (volume, on/off), tie-ins with its Qriocity download service, preloaded Sony PS One games, a Bravia Media Remote, a price tag of $600, and a (possible) ship date of September 2011.

Think on-demand music and movies via Qriocity plus games courtesy Sony's PlayStation Suite, a device-agnostic software framework announced last month alongside Sony's PSP successor, codename NGP (Next Generation Portable). And all of that, courtesy cumulative efforts by Sony's VAIO (the reported lead), Sony Reader, PlayStation, and Sony Ericsson product groups.

Thank Engadget for the scoop (if their Sony sources aren't fibbing--hey, they exposed the PlayStation Phone). Of course everyone was speculating about PlayStation-certified tablets as soon as Sony confirmed the Xperia Play, but this would be the first evidence of a quantifiable device, and one Engadget intimates has been in the offing for awhile now.

The mock up above is Engadget's, designed to capture what they're calling a "wrap" design intended to make you feel like you're toting around a magazine or book with a sheaf of pages folded back. I know, the "bulge" or "fold" looks pretty weird, but Engadget claims it's supposed to shift the center of gravity, making the tablet easier to hold one-handed. It kind of reminds me of the very first VAIO ultraportables, which something like a decade ago were only slightly thicker than Apple's Macbook Air, save for their edgewise cylindrical, detachable (and incredibly VAIO-purple) batteries.

If this thing makes it out of alpha, or beta (or wherever) it'll be fascinating to see, especially if Sony positions the thing head-to-head with Apple's iPad. All that's missing? A PSPgo-style gamepad.

Who knows, maybe Sony's got that angle (somehow) covered, too.

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Matt Peckham

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