One characteristic of the disruptive technologies, is that the old leaders of a market usually don’t even see them coming, because they are too focused on their own business, on how they’ve always done things, and they hate the idea of a dramatic change in their business.
Over the past few years, it became clear that people enjoy more and more spending time playing games on their smartphones, as better games became available, and even people who were using portable game devices like PSP or Nintedo DS, started feeling less of a need to buy those kinds of devices, when they had a powerful smartphone in their pockets that is always with them.
And this key characteristic of the smartphone is very important. You always have it with you, and it’s convenient. You don’t have to carry an extra device with your just to play some games. I’m not saying the smartphone game playing experience trumps the one from portable game devices, at least for some type of games, but what I’m saying is that the experience is “good enough” to the point where people don’t want to spend $250 on a device that can only play games.
Sony has realized this, which is why they’ve made both the Xperia Play smartphone, and also the PlayStation Suite software, that can also work on other devices if they license it. However, I also think Sony needs to work more on the implementation of this thing, and to stop favoring their devices too much. Just make sure the PS Suite is on many smartphones as possible.
They also need to port PSP games to it, too. PS1 games are pretty old, and I don’t think that many people get excited about them anymore. The graphics is also poor compared to some of the latest games on Android or iOS, so Sony definitely needs to get more serious about this if they want to remain relevant in this area in the future.
PS Vita may or may not sell well, at least initially, but I don’t think its life expectancy will be as long as the first PSP. I believe will lose its relevancy in less than a year, as more powerful smartphones arrive. The original PSP was way more powerful than the phones of its time. That has changed, and now Vita won’t last that long as the graphics leader of the pack.
Nintendo is even more stubborn. They’ve already declared that they have no intention of getting into the mobile market, and they have the most to lose, too. As the graph shows, they’ve already lost a good chunk of their market share, and it will keep dropping fast.
If Nintendo would follow Sony, and would start porting all their games to Android, and bring the developers from their platforms to Android as well, and also if Sony would push the PS Suite harder into other devices, and allow PSP/Vita games on it, too, Android would become the best mobile gaming platform out there.