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Sony: Ignoring smartphone success is "foolish"

PlayStation Suite can expose the brand to more consumers, says Tretton

Sony's US president Jack Tretton has explained some of the thinking behind the PlayStation Suite - the new software offering for Android smartphones and tablets, revealed yesterday at the PlayStation Meeting in Tokyo.

He admitted that it was important to acknowledge the massive growth and success in the smartphone market with devices from Google and Apple, and Sony would be wasting the PlayStation heritage if it were to ignore the market entirely.

"We've always been about, what is the market? What is the opportunity? Seize the opportunity and differentiate yourself," Tretton told Engadget.

"To sit there and stick your head in the sand and say, 'smartphones are irrelevant, there are no other gaming mediums,' I think would be foolish, and it would be a disadvantage for us, because we have all these great games. We have this great gaming heritage."

"If you truly believe in your brand and you truly believe in your technology, expose yourself to as many consumers as possible, so hopefully PlayStation Suite introduces people to the PlayStation brand and ultimately they follow the breadcrumbs back to NGP and to our other devices. We've got this huge library of PlayStation One games that are tremendous games, especially when compared to a lot of the other stuff you're seeing on smartphones. That already sets the bar very, very, high."

By releasing original PlayStation games on a PlayStation Store - accessible on multiple handsets - Sony hopes to raise the bar for gaming experiences, despite the age of the software.

"The PSOne games are already state-of-the-art compared to what a number of consumers get with that type of investment on a smartphone," offered Tretton. "It's gonna set a level that'll force other games to measure themselves against, in terms of what they can economically justify.

"I would stack a lot of those PSOne experiences very fairly against what people are spending good money on [with smartphone titles], and I think it is a buyer beware market because there's no standard. Anybody puts anything out they want out on a smartphone and you don't know what you get until you buy it. I hope with the credibility of the PlayStation Suite, there'll be an expectation that we can execute against in terms of quality."

And the PlayStation Suite could be another entry level for budding design talent, according to Tretton, following opportunities though the PlayStation Network and PlayStation Minis.

"Now with things like the PlayStation Network and smaller digital games, you've really got a great breeding ground for development and we've reaped great dividends, and not only great content but great developers that have gone on to do bigger and better games, and we never would've gotten the opportunity to know them if it wasn't for things like Minis and PlayStation Network. So I think PlayStation Suite expands that even more."

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Matt Martin avatar
Matt Martin: Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.
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