Sony has launched the open beta of its PlayStation Suite SDK tools, offering developers the necessary utilities to create PlayStation-branded content for Android devices and the PS Vita.
The company outlined its PlayStation Suite initiative
last year, marking the first time that PlayStation content will be made available on an open operating system, and suggesting that Sony is acknowledging that it has to address a growing threat to its handheld gaming business posed by smartphones.
The PS Suite SDK
is free to download through Sony's Developer Program, and allows developers access to tools and software libraries for PS Suite, along with the tools to conduct performance verification of their content on the PS Vita and PlayStation-certified Android devices.
The open beta version includes a 2D graphics engine and 2D physical engine, with content samples to demonstrate these features. The full program, due to be released later this year, will allow developers to sell content through the PlayStation Store on a commercial basis, and will cost $99 annually.
Jack Buser, senior director of PlayStation Digital Platforms, told Gamasutra that the company has noted the underwhelming performance of Microsoft's own similar platform, Xbox Live Indie Games, explaining, "We've seen what has happened on competing platforms and are dedicated to delivering a better experience through PlayStation."