Sony has a big vision for the future. It's a future in which we own a Sony tablet; a Sony TV; a Sony phone and a Sony computer, and they all work as one to make our Sony-branded lives better. How's that going to work, then?
The last year has seen Sony gradually bringing its Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited apps together, pulling them all safely beneath one homogenised Sony Entertainment Network umbrella of media-consuming fun, and having one common, all-encompassing way to buy, watch and listen to media will be the killer feature that could give Sony's hardware ambitions a big boost.
Sony's gaming plans are also starting to come together in a more joined-up way that better involves its non-games hardware. The recently-announced PlayStation Mobile software suite will bring the PlayStation3's PSN content delivery system to mobiles and tablets, papering over another crack in the disjointed way we currently organise our media and gaming worlds.
Sony's also started to shove its hardware brands across its various offerings a little better. We've already seen some of this cross-promotion at work inside Sony's latest Xperia smartphones. The new Xperia T, plus other Xperia models from the last couple of years, feature BRAVIA-branded displays, which is your guarantee that People Who Know What They're Doing have been involved somewhere along the line when it comes to manufacturing your phone's screen, while WALKMAN music app branding in Sony's newest Android software reassures us of the same thing when it comes to mobile audio playback.
But proper integration needs to go further than that. Sony's two current Android tablets, the Tablet S and Tablet P, are both PlayStation Certified, one of Sony's big pushes for cross compatibility out there in Android world. The plan is for Sony to open up the PlayStation Certification scheme to other hardware makers, which should ensure much larger adoption of the software and ensure more games are published for everyone to enjoy.
Imagine a future where we can download a game on a tablet, play it for a bit, resume on our phone a little later, then resume it via a smart TV app later in bed. And hopefully for Sony, there'll be a metallic badge saying "SONY" beneath each of the screens we use to do so.
Lofty ambitions, but someone's got to eventually come up with a better, more cohesive way of selling us media across a variety of screens and hardware formats, and Sony's pretty well placed to pull it off.