Sony’s PlayStation brand doesn’t require any sort of introduction. It has been a household name since its launch in 1994. Sony has always tried to go mobile with devices such as PlayStation Portable and the fairly recent PlayStation Vita.
The Vita delivers amazing visuals using its 5-inch OLED touch screen, and the graphics are almost in par with graphics of PlayStation 3. The system was debuted along with a game title lineup, and the best part is that the device has access to PlayStation Network, where the user can download some of the games, including all first-party titles. The Vita runs an operating system which has been smartly designed, easy to use, and super responsive. The unit feels great to hold and has excellent standby battery life, however Vita’s biggest challenge is to prove itself as worthy enough in order to convince the casual gamer that he or she needs to carry around not just a smartphone, but a portable console as well. Most of the occasional gamers wouldn’t find it worth buying a separate device just for gaming purposes, and Sony has made a note of it.
Apart from the mobile gaming units, Sony had planned to take a parallel path in the mobile using something called PlayStation Suite. The initiative is now called as PlayStation Mobile and was showcased recently at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany. PlayStation Mobile is basically a platform which allows third-party software developers and publishers to develop new content for portable devices. At Gamescom, Sony revealed additional hardware partners and promised indie-friendly openness.
It’s a fact that companies behind iOS and Android devices wholly depend on content (read app store) in order to boost their sale figures. For content, they depend on community of developers who generate application software content for their own profit. Sony did not clearly state how it plans to go about PlayStation Mobile in terms of costs and revenue projections, but it seems determined for long term growth on mobile and gaming devices.
The content that will be available via PlayStation Mobile will enable small-scale gaming on a variety of devices such as Sony Xperia phones and tablets, several other Android devices, and the PlayStation Vita itself. These games will be essentially cross platform or cross compatible that will in turn build an ecosystem which will expand beyond traditional handheld game systems like the Vita into phones and tablets. Sony will be running a certification program under which it will certify various manufacturers to manufacture devices which will be compatible with PlayStation Mobile. Asustek Computer and Wikipad Inc are among the first manufacturers to join Sony’s PlayStation Certified license program. This partnership will allow Asus and Wikipad handheld device users to access PlayStation Mobile content.
Talking of gaming on Android and iOS, these platforms already have many developers making awesome games. The games that were shown on-screen at the Gamescom presser contained assortment of titles, and many were similar to the indie games that are already found on iOS and Android.
What Sony plans to do with PlayStation Mobile is pretty inspiring. They plan to bring the PlayStation experience to wide variety of devices, but it’s not known how they plan to bring the “PlayStation experience” on a device which isn’t a PlayStation product. Nevertheless, one advantage that is worth noting is that purchases that are made on PlayStation Mobile, the same title becomes available across your collection of devices that support PlayStation Mobile. No launch date was specified, but it will launch in nine countries including Japan, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Australia with more countries to follow.
What are your thoughts on this product? Will Sony be able to make a mark in smartphone gaming industry? Will manufacturers be able to use PlayStation Mobile support as a marketing attraction for their devices? Let us know using the comment form below.