Sony’s soon-to-be President and CEO, Kazuo Hirai, has hinted that the company is investigating porting the Vita OS to other mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Japanese site AV Watch reported on Friday that Hirai told reporters at a Q&A session that the company doesn’t want us to forget Vita OS as a mobile (i.e. not just gaming) platform. The report goes on to quote SCE’s Senior Vice President Yoshio Matsumoto as saying, "if you’re asking if we’ve made it in a way that’s expandable, so that it’s possible to apply to smartphones and tablets on top of achieving the high responsiveness we need for gaming devices — it is possible," hedging his comment with, "that doesn’t mean that we’re applying it to smartphones and tablets at this point in time, but it’s been designed with expandability in mind."
The company’s efforts to compete in the low-margin Android handset business haven’t been a huge financial success — Sony Ericsson posted a €247 million loss (about $325 million) for fiscal 2011, citing intense competition, despite a 65 percent year-on-year increase in Xperia Android smartphone sales. A wholly-owned platform building on the company's strengths in gaming could provide a key differentiator as Sony expands its mobile operations. When asked about the feasibility of porting smartphone apps to the Vita platform, Sony’s deputy president Kunimasa Suzuki responded by saying, "that’s exactly why we’re going to be putting energy into building up PlayStation Suite this year."