Feb 21, 2011

Exclusive: Sony 'S1' PlayStation tablet

Think for a second, what major consumer electronics company doesn't have a tablet to show? Right, Sony. In fact, the rumor womb has been conspicuously barren of salacious Sony tablet tattle ever since Apple's iPad was announced back in 2010. Oh sure, Sony's owned-up to the development of prototypes that fill a "very important position" somewhere in between its own Vaio PC lineup and the Xperia Play byproduct of its Ericsson commingling. But beyond that: zilch, nada... until today. Hit read more for details.
We have a couple of tablets we'd like to tell you about, starting with a 9.4-inch honeypot of an Android 3.0 tablet. Details of which have been confirmed by two highly trusted and independent sources. Known by its "S1" codename internally, Sony is busy customizing Matias Duarte's Honeycomb interface to its own specification. Although, we're skeptical of Sony's software capabilities, we've been assured that Sony's work is cutting edge stuff created by a talented engineering team spanning Sony's VAIO, Reader, PlayStation, and Sony Ericsson product groups. The team is lead by the VAIO organization but will probably launch as a Sony product without VAIO branding, according to one source. Sony's custom-built transitions and UI elements have created a user experience that rivals and at times improves upon the iPad's renowned experience. The tablet itself, we're told, is 100 percent focused on Qriocity, Sony's music, games, ebooks, and videos on demand service that's just been launched in Europe. It comes preloaded with Sony PS One games, a Bravia Media Remote, and yes, PlayStation integration -- though it's unclear if that'll be limited to Remote Play or if the Android tablet will be PlayStation Suite certified. One source speculates that it could very well get the PlayStation gaming seal of approval by the time it ships -- but that's just an educated guess.

Update: We now have confirmation that the S1 is indeed PlayStation Certified making this a full-blown media and gaming tablet. We've also revised the illustration above to make the top less pronounced.

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