Sony Extending PlayStation Network

Non-PlayStation hardware to get access, PS3 to become a "platform for web services."

Sony might have had a rocky start with the PlayStation 3, but it would be hard to say it hasn’t been making a job of capitalising on its investment – using technologies developed for the PS3 in other devices. A trend which is, according to CEO Howard Stringer, set to continue.

In an interview with Nikkei Electronics Asia Stringer has detailed Sony’s plans to transition itself from a closed system into an open one explaining: “We developed brand new, absolutely incredible technology for the PlayStation 3 (PS3), but the cost was high.” Having learned from that experience, Sony has “adopted a slightly different approach now, and are evolving the PS3 into a platform for web services.”

While Sony’s different product lines have previously worked on a “vertical structure,” these development groups are starting to be centralised. As a result, there should be a growing level of convergence evident in Sony products.

Currently the most obvious of these is the proliferation of Sony’s XMB menu system across its product range. This is, according to Stringer, just the start however and “Next we will be expanding the PlayStation Network to hardware other than the PS3, because the number of PS3 units sold puts a limit on the scale of the network possible.”

It’s an interesting idea although how it will play out is anyone’s guess right now. Clearly we’re not going to see Bravia TVs or Walkman phones playing full-on PS3 PSN games, but it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to see the PSN’s video marketplace on Blu-ray players or TVs.