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Why I Believe The NGP Uses The Android Platform

23/02/2011 14:48
Why I Believe The NGP Uses The Android Platform

I rarely do these kinds of articles, but before I start - Keep in mind that this is a theory in which I will provide some evidence, as well as advantages and disadvantages to using the platform as a menu or home system.

I’ll start by saying how much Android is developing. The Android platform is evolving every year and with new builds of Android being released every day by independent developers, you’ll find yourself falling in love with the idea of an open-source OS.

Recently, we’ve had an in-sight on what to expect on the NGP (Next Generation Portable), everything from the menus to the games it will sport (everything but the price, of course). But let’s take a closer look at things – The NGP has a menu called LiveArea, which is arguably a nice change. LiveArea replaces the old and much dated XMB (Xcross Media Bar) in a great community-based fashion. The menu will allow users to connect, as well as offer services such as the traditional PlayStation Store. So, I guess change is good right?

As soon as the NGP was showcased, I had this theory. This involved the NGP running on Android - Anyone with an Android or at least the Software Development kit will agree that the home button, and slide and battery indicator looks like what you’d expect to see on an Android device. Aside from Sony’s lack on info on the technical specs, I’ve pieced together some interesting ideas of why Sony would do it, if it is confirmed that the NGP uses Android. Keep in mind, this is an assumption based on what I know from developing for Android.

Here's the comparison picture I made. You’ll see for yourselves.

My old battery icon on my previous handset (Dell Streak) was modified to not look like the NGP-like, but aside from that - The resemblance is uncanny right? Here are my advantages and disadvantages for Android on the NGP, assuming you're not already convinced.

Advantages and theories for Android on the NGP

• If the NGP uses Android, we can expect to see a fully customisable home system – So if you don’t like the way it looks - You could always change it.

• Android runs on Linux kernel, which is something the PS3 does/did, so incorporating it wouldn’t be hard.

• The rumoured PSPhone supports the Android, so there’s no reason of why a portable gaming system by Sony wouldn’t be.

• It’ll enable the Android community to feel like a proper part of Sony’s community.

• Android is a growing platform growing by roughly double the amount each year, it’s predicted by 2013, it will be the most popular mobile platform (assuming the world doesn’t end before then that is).

• By the release, Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) would have been released also - Which could mean big things for the NGP.

• PlayStation Suite will be available to Android devices, this indicates the NGP running Android also.

• Sony Ericcson use Android as their main platform nowadays – Again, why shouldn’t the NGP.

The Disadvantages and reasons behind them

• Android is Open-Source - which means that every part of it can be tampered with. This potentially leads to a lot of software hacks and mods – Which could in the end start giving people reason to pirate digital content.

• Judging from Sony’s response in the past - I doubt they’d want people touching their software. However, they could want these developers to take a role in this console’s evolution.

• I doubt Sony will incorporate the Android Market into the menu mainly because of the amount of content offered (especially emulators), they probably wouldn’t want to lose PlayStation Store customers to the Android Market.

• A lot of software development for Android actually voids warranty.

These are all points that I’ve thought about – Which I think people should consider. However, if Sony wants to try out this platform, then I believe it will be a great move. Change is good, providing things don’t get hacked to shit right?

We don’t officially know if the device runs on Android, but from an experts perspective – It sure looks like it. Imagine a fully customisable gaming Console - It’d be like having the best of both worlds, from both a gamer and developers point of view. I guess we’ll find out more about LiveArea soon enough. I must say that seeing Android on a gaming device would be extremely cool in my opinion - But we’ll wait and see.

We’ll keep you posted.

Topic: Why I Believe The NGP Uses The Android Platform

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