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Sony unveils pair of ‘PlayStation Tablets’

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The S1 and S2 - Sony

Just months after moving the PlayStation into the cell phone world, Sony is adding tablet computers to its repertoire.

The company has launched its first tablets -- both of which will come equipped with the PlayStation Suite allowing owners to play first generation PlayStation games. Like the Xperia Play (aka the 'PlayStation Phone'), the tablets use the Android operating system. They're expected to hit store shelves this fall.

The S1 and S2 - as they're currently code-named - share some design aspects (both are black and glossy, like a PS3), but are vastly different devices. The S1 is focused on entertainment, featuring a 9.4-inch screen with dual cameras and a curve at the top to simulate holding a magazine.

The S2 is less traditional, combining two 5.5-inch screens in a clamshell design for easy portability. The screens can work together or be used separately, depending on the app. For games, the top screen will show gameplay while the bottom displays the familiar PlayStation control scheme.

This is uncharted territory for Sony. The Experia Play missed its planned April 1 launch date in the U.S. - and there's still no word on when it will become available.

And while many people have been waiting for the company to finally jump into the tablet space, the lack of physical controls on the systems makes them questionable for extended gaming periods. Ported games that are two generations old and use a touch-screen mapped controller? It's hardly bleeding edge.

While it's ramping up its focus in new markets, Sony is still very active in other forms of mobile gaming. Earlier this year, the company unveiled its Next Generation Portable gaming system, which will feature dual touchscreens and a 5-inch OLED viewing screen.

The system has the bells and whistles under the hood to compete with Nintendo's 3DS and the iPhone, but Sony hasn't whispered a word about what that system will cost. The tablets, though, are expected to be priced competitive with Apple's iPad.

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