Sony releases development kit for PlayStation Mobile platform

The public software, long out in beta form, allows programmers to build games for Sony's new gaming endeavor

Sony has released the first public version of software to create games for PlayStation Mobile, its gaming platform for third-party phones and tablets.

The company's gaming division said Tuesday that it is now offering a public version of its SDK (software development kit) for about US$100 in the Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S.

PlayStation Mobile is Sony's gaming platform for Android-based devices made by outside manufacturers. It is attempting to woo both hardware makers and game developers to the program, a departure from its traditional console business where it charges developers for the right to make and sell PlayStation software.

Sony will still attempt to tightly control the gaming environment in PlayStation Mobile: all software will be approved by the company, and will only run on devices it has certified. The company has also stressed that games on the platform will be largely distinct from the mainstream titles for PlayStation consoles, saying it will offer "PlayStation-like experiences" to users.

The company has made a strong effort to lure developers to the fledgling platform, setting the development cost equal to what Apple charges for building apps for iOS and offering online support for technical issues.

Sony last year launched a closed beta version of the SDK, which includes development tools and software, and has previously said the official launch would occur in November.

The company will use a pricing scheme by which developers sell their titles "wholesale" to the company, and then Sony sells the titles "retail" to end users. As a pricing example, the company said that a game priced wholesale at 70 cents will sell for about a dollar.

On the device side, PlayStation Mobile runs on Sony's Xperia phones, tablets and its Vita handheld. It is also available on a small number of phones made by Sharp as well as HTC's "One" line of smartphones.

Sony has also signed up Asus to make devices for its platform, which was previously called PlayStation Suite.

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