Sony drops hints of a PlayStation Tablet

Sony's plan to launch a PlayStation Phone under its Xperia brand is one of the worst kept secrets in tech history, but it appears that the company might have a surprise waiting in the wings: a PlayStation Tablet.

The company's plans for an Android-based smartphone, expected to launch at the Mobile World Congress event later this year under the name Xperia Play in partnership with Ericsson, are well known - but comments made by Sony Computer Entertainment president Kez Hirai suggests that it won't be the only portable PlayStation gadget to hit the shelves.

During his keynote presentation at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Hirai stated: "Strategy encompasses driving the development of a variety of new strategic products and services including tablets currently in development as well as smartphones, all the while integrating the knowhow and the assets that we’ve accumulated from our PlayStation business."

While the news that Sony is integrating parts of its PlayStation development into a smartphone is well known, the fact that Hirai mentioned a Sony-branded tablet in the same breath suggests that it will be joined by a large-format touch-screen device.

Given that the Xperia Play is known to be running Google's popular open-source Android mobile platform, it's not unreasonable to expect the Sony Tablet to feature the same OS - possibly powered by Nvidia's increasingly popular Tegra line of ARM-based system on chip processors.

Sadly, despite Hirai's hints, Sony is playing this one very close to its chest - and the Sony PlayStation Tablet, if such a thing is in the works, is unlikely to join the Xperia Play at the Mobile World Congress launch.