Playstation Mobile, formerly known as the Playstation Suite, is about to get relaunched this fall. They’ll 30 new titles from a variety of genres including Adventure, Action, Puzzle, and Sports, built by 3rd party developers and publishers, as well as SCE Worldwide Studios. The content will be launched through the Playstation Store initially in 11 countries and regions including Japan, United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Australia, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The initial goal of the Playstation Mobile was to create new mobile games that work on both the PS Vita and Android devices that are certified for the Playstation Mobile games. It was also going to allow players to play old PS1 games on the same devices.
The problem was that Sony didn’t think big enough, or there was a conflict of interest between the division in charge of PS Vita and the one in charge of licensing out Playstation Mobile; Sony didn’t license Playstation Mobile to anyone in the first year since the launch. Now, for the relaunch, they’ve signed up HTC, and all HTC One series phones will be supported. Most Sony Xperia devices from 2011 and later will be supported, too.
Asus and Wikipad will also be getting the Playstation Mobile certification:
“Inspired by the diverse needs of consumers in all areas and phases of life, ASUS’ foremost mission is to deliver truly innovative solutions that inspire consumers to reach for greater heights of productivity and fun. The ASUS Transformer Pad, which can transform from tablet to Notebook PC delivers this value,” said Samson Hu, Corporate Vice President & GM of Mobile Communications Products BU at ASUSTeK Computer Inc. “As a leading enterprise in the new digital era, ASUS offers PlayStation-like gaming experiences with the convenience of its array of products. With the Transformer Pad’s inclusion as a PlayStation Certified partner, we will surpass users’ imaginations and change the rules of gaming.”
“Wikipad is the first true video game tablet built with an attachable gamepad controller that provides gamers with a mobile console experience. As we head into our upcoming launch, we are excited to be partnering with Sony Computer Entertainment.” said Fraser Townley, President of Sales Wikipad.Inc. “PlayStation’s continued commitment to delivering innovative entertainment experiences that captivate gamers is unparalleled and we are thrilled to partner with them.”
I believe the Playstation Mobile idea has a lot of potential, especially when coupled with the Gaikai technology that promises to bring all PS3 games to (at least Sony) Android devices. Sony will be needing to strike a good balance between wanting to keep the games as exclusive as possible, while also making it worthwhile for developers to want to bother with making games for Playstation Mobile.
PS Vita is a good starting point for this, as they can bring some of those games to more Android devices as they become powerful enough to support them. The next-gen GPU’s should be more than able to handle them, and Sony can get those developers to port those games to all supported Playstation Mobile devices. But at the same time, they also need to make sure there are millions of certified devices in the market.
If Sony can do this and also be able to keep up with the hardware for their phones, they might just get back in the smartphone game, and be a real threat to Samsung. I think a lot of users care about good mobile games. If the hardware is on par, Sony could hold a real advantage of Samsung, and partners like HTC and Asus could benefit from it too. If things work out, maybe in the future we could even see an Android-based or Google TV-based PS4.