The PlayStation Suite
looks like it's actually making progress towards life as a bona fide platform/ecosystem for game and app distribution. The service has moved into an open beta phase and developers are now able to download the PlayStation Suite SDK, which includes an "integrated development environment" (IDE) and device simulator for PCs.
No actual game/app distribution will begin until the beta ends "later this year," at which point developers using the SDK will need to contract up, to the tune of $99 a year. The SDK is free until then.
Thanks to the beta's FAQ
, we also now know that completely free/ad-supported apps will not be allowed on the service, and that "development will be limited to paid (including freemiun [sic]) content." In-game/in-app microtransaction functionality will be added to the SDK at a later date during the beta.
As far as PlayStation Suite's actual app pricing structure is concerned, both in terms of its consuming-facing strategy and its back-end developer percentages, Sony hasn't quite ironed that out: "We can't provide detailed information at this stage, but we are considering a pricing structure based on current market conditions."