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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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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.