Just what exactly does it mean to be Certified Playstation?
Since Playstation Suite was announced, it has been a very confusing state of affairs as to actually what any of it means what does it offer. What does it mean if a product is Playstation Certified? I think a lot of us were under the impression the game pad of the Xperia PLAY was what made it Playstation Certified, but no, then came the Tablet S with no game pad. So what exactly is Playstation Certified and Playstation Suite? Well, we have answers for you.
Playstation Certified is quite simply a stamp of approval, which marks if a product has been tested for running Playstation content. It has to meet with guidelines & benchmarks laid out that will ensure the device will run PS content efficiently. Simply because it is not Playstation hardware. If it was then it wouldn't need certification to prove that it has been checked for their games. When you buy a Playstation title, you know which platform it has been developed for and therefore if it's compatible. You buy a PS3 game, you know that it will not work on a PS2 for example.
When Playstation open up their store for non Playstation products to download their games, they need to make sure that the device being used will be compatible with those games, especially as the games were made sometimes decades before even that hardware was drawn on blue paper. So just like you will find a selection of PSPocket games, PS Vita games, PS3 games. You will now find a selection of games for PS Certified. it is a clever system actually and offers a bigger audience a taste of great Playstation gaming on their smart phones, Tablets or possible even laptops in the future.
I got confused by a few people saying the PS Vita was PS Certified, which is not true. Simply because the PS Vita is a Playstation product with Playstation hardware. It does not need certification to run any of it's licensed games as the games were made and optimized for that hardware.
Playstation Store is simply, the Playstation Store. The store for Certified devices isn't the full Playstation store that you get with Playstation hardware like the PS3, PS Vita or even PSP. The store for certified gamers only have on there the games that are available for that device. You do however log using your PSN account, or how they like to call it now Sony Entertainment Network account. Just like with your PS3 or with Google Market, all of your purchases are stored on your account, allowing you to download the same purchase onto all of your Playstation Certified devices future and present.
At the moment there is just a handful of PSOne classics available on the store. It is a good mixture of classics but for me not the greatest picks of the back catalog. It will get better though and I am certain that the more products using the certification, the more games will be released on it. We will get in the near future more than just classics from the PSOne. It is looking very positive that we shall be getting PSP & even PS2 classics on there also. Recently we published an article which highlights some of these newer games thanks to the ESRB rating agency. There is also teh fact that Japan's PS Store for Xperia PLAY (which has been open for quite a while), already has titles like 'LocoRoco' and according to rumours Little Big Planet. It is early days but what we are seeing is the foundations of a great portal from possibly the top gaming vendor in the world.
Playstation Suite is what brings it all together. Not necessarily from a user interface perspective, but from a developer and consumer experience. So there isn't strictly a physical suite as such, it is merely a package which offers an SDK developer kit. The SDK was released back in November to allow game makers and programmers to make original content for release on the PS Certified store. So if you thought Playstation Suite was just about PS classics, then you are mistaken. Because it is clear that you shall look forward to original content like we see on Android Market appearing on the PS Store too. Could actually be a good opportunity for upcoming developers to share their work with Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE).
I guess the future of Playstation Suite is to integrate a much richer interface and bring it all together nicer. At the moment, it quite literally is the PS Store and then the downloaded games. On the Xperia PLAY, we had a rather smart little launcher app called PS Pocket which bring the games into one place and had a link to buy more. Maybe this will come with other devices too. Or maybe we will even see the touch interface from the newly released PS Vita? It is smooth and has been well made to use with touch screens.
PS Store for Xperia smart phones is coming soon for Xperia S, Xperia ion, Xperia PLAY and also Sony Tablet S & Tablet P. To check out the latest games available, click here.