Sony: PlayStation Mobile to counter "junk" on app stores

"It's our brand that's at risk," says European boss Jim Ryan

Sony's forthcoming PlayStation Mobile initiative - which will see PlayStation branded games available for mobile and tablet devices running the Android operating system - hopes to offer an alternative to poor quality products already available on other mobile marketplaces.

Previously known at PlayStation Suite, users will be able to access the PlayStation Store to download games on certified devices from manufacturers including Sony Ericsson and HTC.

The service is currently in open beta with the SDK available freely - although Jim Ryan, European boss of the company has told GamesIndustry International that Sony is taking a hands-on approach to development to ensure games and other content reach a certain level of quality associated with the PlayStation brand.

" Can we be completely laissez faire? I don't think so because then we'll end up just like all the rest and that can't happen"

Jim Ryan, Sony Europe

"There are many internal ways in which we'll achieve this and many of which are still work in progress," he said.

"[We're] ensuring that anything that is offered on this platform is of proper PlayStation quality and that people feel comfortable and safe that they are not going to inadvertently stumble upon any of the junk that exists in that wider marketplace.

"It's a significant business challenge because it's our brand that's at risk here and it's our responsibility as a platform holder in multiple directions to ensure we do that. Can we be completely laissez faire? I don't think so because then we'll end up just like all the rest and that can't happen," he added.

There are over 50 software houses working on content for PlayStation Mobile, which will also work with the recently released PlayStation Vita handheld. "The dev kit is available to anyone who is interested in looking at it but we are actively evangelising in all sorts of ways to get the sort of content we want there for the launch," offered Ryan.

Acknowledging that consumers who play on mobile devices are not the same as the core console market, Sony hopes PlayStation Mobile will act as a gateway to home devices, as well as opening up established brands to new formats.

"If we get it right it could be very significant," he said. "We see this as a real opportunity. It builds the ecosystem and gets us everywhere.

"In the same way that PSone consumers migrated up to PS2 and PS2 consumers in even larger numbers migrated up to PlayStation 3, we see this as bringing in consumers who might not otherwise be exposed to our brand because they haven't made the investment in buying the console.

"They get an opportunity to get involved in PlayStation and sample its world and if we do this right that migration process is likely to be a very happy consequence of going down this road."

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Latest comments (6)

Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee9 years ago
This needs to be more 'multi-platform' to be a success seeing it it appears to be restricted to Playstation Certified devices.
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Antony Carter Senior Programmer, Epic Games9 years ago
They do need to get this on as many devices as possible. A legitimate place to get PS1 games and presumably in the future PS2 and PSP games, as well as new games sounds while being platform agnostic sounds like a winner. Changing from iOS to android recently i obviously lost access to all my games, so this sounds like a much better solution.

As long as the actual store is not on iOS, they could release this on iPhone and iPad right?, kind of like kindle is where you just buy the books through the web browser then you can download them in the app.
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Paul Shirley Programmers 9 years ago
I wonder if they'll do better this time round. The existing jumble of shambolic storefronts on my Play gives a poor impression. Where they have obviously filtered down there's bugger all content, where they haven't its chock full of non game stuff. DOA and they never made any effort to improve the mess.

Given the Xperia Play ICS fiasco and the way ICS itself broke so many certified Playstation games, certification would seem to have little value. Hard to see Sony gaining any traction in the general Android ecosystem and they lost all the gamers when they killed Play.
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd9 years ago
@ Antony Theoretically, but Apple has a history of denying competing gaming services that attempt to do this as a way around (notice Onlive still isn't on iOS 7 months after launching on Android).
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Igor M D 9 years ago
Does anyone notice that there is no clear strategy behind PlayStation Mobile (heck, they couldn't even decide on a name)?
What exactly Sony is trying to accomplish with it? Bring hobby developers to PlayStation platforms? If yes, they they should probably realize that most of these people are already developing for iOS (in ObjC/C++ mostly), thus their code base is not compatible with PSMobile (which is C# only). I can't see that many people throwing away their code and starting to rebuild apps from scratch just for the sake of having it released on a couple of devices with Sony logo on it.
Maybe Sony is trying to lure XNA developers, but why then PS Suite doesn't work on PS3?
Basically, they are trying to imitate what Microsoft has done 6 years ago with XNA, but doing this poorly and, well, a bit late too when most of XNA devs have moved to iOS/Android.
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Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee9 years ago

Basically, they know they can't ignore the success of mobile games. This is a direct attempt to capitalise on that success and probably not as much to do with the existing Playstation business at all.

The positive side effect however does mean that there could be more unique, inventive Playstation Vita titles as a result (similar to what we get on mobiles), given that Vita is to support the Playstation Mobile platform too.
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