Sony is to launch a software development kit that allows developers to build games for PlayStation devices as well as Android smartphones and tablets.
The new SDK – distributed under the ‘PlayStation Suite’ brand – will, in theory, allow developers to deploy a single game build across a range of platforms.
From Sony’s side, supported hardware includes PS Vita, and the game-centric smartphone Xperia Play, as well as Sony’s two new tablets. Any near-future hardware that is ‘PlayStation Certified’ would likely also support the new SDK.
But what may be Sony’s masterstroke is its offer to Android developers: They can build games through the PlayStation Suite SDK and deploy on Android devices as usual, but a new PlayStation audience will be open to them.
There are restrictions too. Sony will likely have tighter quality control on what games can appear on its more serious PS Vita handheld. Also, the SDK has opted to support C#, a barrier for indies that don’t know the programming language.
Whether popular engines such as Unity can be used with the SDK remains to be seen.
“By supporting development for multiple devices and by adopting libraries to create a variety of content not only limited to games, PS Suite SDK will not only help developers save their cost in creating new content but also allow them to efficiently create their content on one SDK and without having to create on several different SDKs,” Sony said.
PlayStation Suite SDK will trickle into selected studios from November. The cost of the tech is not known.
Sony said it won’t allow PS Suite games to launch on PlayStation devices until next Spring – scheduled in line with the western release of PS Vita.