Should Sony have opened up PlayStation Mobile to third-parties?

by XB on 6th June 2012

in Games


Sony yesterday announced that the PlayStation Mobile program (previously known as PlayStation Suite) would be opened up to third-party manufacturers. The first third-party handsets to get PlayStation Certification are the HTC One family of Android smartphones. The question we are posing today is should Sony have kept PlayStation Mobile exclusive to its own hardware or is it in fact a good move to open up its content to other devices?

Our view is somewhat mixed. We can understand why Sony has made the decision, opening up your content to as many devices as possible is a great way to maximise revenue and return on investment. However, on the flip side, you lose what might be a significant reason for some to purchase an Xperia smartphone in the first place.

What we don’t have at this stage is a clear idea of exactly what PlayStation Mobile will be. At the very basic level, it will be a store to access classic PlayStation content, but hopefully this will move on to targeted games for the mobile platform in the future.

That is certainly what Shuhei Yoshida, Sony Worldwide Studios president, intimated when speaking to VG247: “In the past we provided PSOne emulated titles to these devices but there was an individual effort to port those titles to these devices. But going forward, when we launch the store later this year, our focus with PlayStation Mobile is to provide games made on the new PlayStation Mobile SDK that work on all this certified hardware. In short, less of a PSOne games [focus], more of new titles or mobile developers bringing their content and new games onto the platform.”

Other Sony employees kept it vague. “As PSN serves as the backbone to Sony products, it’s easy to imagine that PlayStation Mobile will become increasingly connected with other PlayStation products. I think you can expect to see us take this notion of the PlayStation Network connecting an ecosystem of devices together forward in the future,” said Jack Buser, senior director for PlayStation digital platforms in the US speaking to Gamasutra.

Our view is that keeping all of this exclusive to Sony hardware would have been a better move, it would not dilute the brand offering like it will do by opening the doors to other manufacturers. In the increasingly competitive smartphone race, points of differentiation are key. Sony has some great armoury in terms of its technology and content and it needs to leverage this if it is to surpass some of the big global players in this space.

Anyway, what is your view? Is this a shrewd move by Sony or are you as perplexed as we are? Let us know in the comments below.

  • personally I think it is a very bold move from sony. Its like they are announcing that Sony Mobile can compete against other companies even without exclusive features like playstation suite and they also seem very confident. Maybe they just want a friendly competition.. or judging from their financial results they are just running out of cash and need more investments…..

  • Jake

    IMO , certifice other device other than sony branded is ok . Because if the market is too limited the develope of games is slower and the game is more expensive . When more people buying game from ps store the game will easiler to develope .
    However , early access or cheaper game for sony device can prevent the sales of sony mobile phone from dropping .

  • M Usman

    At first I was like No. Then I thought I didn’t buy the Xperia S because of the Exclusive Playstation Certification. The games suck and graphics suck also. So its not a big deal. Everyone else can now see for themselves. None of my friends were impressed by the Playstation Suite.

  • I Agree

  • yashar

    yes because other company can use ps ans ps is going up

  • This will launch PlayStation to another level, But will result afecting the sales of consoles. And cell phones, and tablets will lose that added value that is “PS Certificate”

  • I would say both no and yes. No, because at the time i think they should at least get the Playstation Mobile (Suite) out to all market. Here in Sweden it was announced that they released the shop in march, but it never happend. We still waiting here. So no, Sony need to first concentrate on their own infrastructure and market before letting anyone els into the store. Sony would probably lose marketrates to HTC for this move. They should wait until Sony mobildivision maybe is before the others with new technology. Sony wont last if they go on build mobilephones with specs that is at least one year after the others. At the moment thats a good strategy because Sony Ericsson had bad reputation when it came to just quality and now Sony is having a reputation that is a whole lot better, but it wont last to develop devices that is after its time. Sooner or later they have to give the people who likes good specs their treat.

    Yes because it would get bigger sales. But I dont think the time is here for it.

  • Sony is selling less than a 10th of the volume of Samsung worldwide (most of those phones not playstation capable). HTC is selling about the same as Sony did in the first quarter. HTC and Sony have to distinguish themselves over Samsung’s phones so this is a good match and will make the developers happier and probably will double the number of phones that have Playstation certified even though it’s limited to a handful of Xperia and a couple of HTC models.

  • ARKROY GUA

    mmm i think that it was a bad move, i am a Sony only guy and selling PSM to other phone companys is not gonna help sale for Sony even the new line is really good knowing that you can have PSM on a htc or other companys will put user to think about hopefully this will not be a mayor thing because will again put a lot of thinking in the new incoming users

  • As i said before , most sony fans wouldnt be satisfied with this decisions, coz all we want sony features was exclusive only for us , when looking at past we say , 8mp camera, live view (2010 ) ,waterproof , livedock , 8mp exmor camera , hdmi out , and playstation sertificated was exclusive for us, now what is going on …. of course sony mobile will earn much more money from htc users … coz not everything free in here … maybe twice or ten times much more than sony users , but they should focus on one side not general …

  • no because htc has htc sence and sony has the playstation mobile what makes it stand out.
    All that will happen now is that sales of sony phones will go down and htc will go up.
    How come htc get something and we dont get anything in return.
    Personally i would like to see a touch flow/sence bar at the bottom of the screen and the clock/weather what was ineractive on the whole range of xperia. Xperia/ Sony should ask for the sence in exchange for the playstation mobile

  • Leon

    Seems a sensible move to me.
    Now if only they’d make a buy-once, use-everywhere policy so I don’t have to buy wipeout over and over again I’d be happy.
    I want to be able to buy a phone-certified game on my PS3 and use it on the PS3, Vita, PSP and my certified mobile. I have no brand loyalty for electronics… my last phone was HTC and my current phone is Sony. I just want to be able to use my purchased content everywhere.

  • arrowthefirst

    They did it absolutely right! Sony cannot afford to base only on its devices. Sony doesnt have even 10% market share. I have not seen any people who chose S or Arc because it is PS certified. Sony must launch an answer to apple and M$ services, and they do it. Then we will expect a good thing for all PS fans, Xperia owners and android users.

  • arrowthefirst

    But it is a great fail that all of HTC one support PS, but P and U dont.

  • FluxZero

    The move is the right one for PlayStation. The greater market penetration the more money invested in development. With a larger user base, development studios will have greater incentive to fund PlayStation mobile projects. The certification of non-Sony devices will also raise PlayStation’s profile in mobile gaming, a market that is currently dominated by Google and Apple. This is the a sensible move and one which had to be made.

    Moving forward all services should be offered on all devices. The days of differentiating your hardware product by offering an exclusive service have finished. It will be the quality of the service offering that will be the point of difference. At the end of the day the consumer wants to be able to choose which service they use be it music unlimited, Netflix, Amazon Video etc and use it on any device they choose to purchase. You will find that as we move forward consumer electronics will become less about hardware and increasingly about services. I foresee a market environment where there is one standard piece of hardware (available in different cosmetic varieties). The comsumer electronics companies will no longer be fighting for the consumer to purchase their piece of hardware but rather subscribe to their services.

  • megane198

    It is a right move for me. I do not buy sony mobile phone for this package alone. I bought it for the feature set. The camera, the minimalistic yet simple and elegant UI, the great speaker of their phones, the design etc. If they can increase the PSMobile userbase, it may translate it to other purchases of consumers of sony products (PS3, PS Vita). What I want now is for them to certify Xperia arc because as of now it is only the Japanese xperia arc that was certified.

  • I pretti nice move

  • razec

    This move helps alot in gaining more developer support for the new promising platform. As of this moment HD games on Android are plagued with fragmentation issues associated with difference in HW, so the WORM(write once run many) approach of Android turns to a moot point when considering the fact that developers have to write different codes that are optimized on a varying specific platforms they were targeting. PSMobile comes to solve this problem by the form of an abstraction layer that will faithfully run all games regardless of platform used.

  • I agree with you, Sony is thinking long term.

  • im gamer

    sony even can’t support itself!

    just look at what they have done on xperia play !!!!]

    F*** you sony liar

  • Killing Spree

    xperia p is ps certified

  • Well on most markets the devices from Sony aint PS certified. Just because Sony was a little lazy the boxes still has the certified logo. But for instance not may countries in Europe has this certification, despite the fact Sony is selling those with that remark. And well, it is absolutely something to diffentiate themselves towards other companies. i know many here in Sweden who actually bought it because of that certificate.

  • malih

    depends on how it’s being played by Sony, if they’re smart and do it the Apple way, like making available iTunes for Windows, it can only mean greater brand recognition and greater market share for Sony, particularly the Playstation brand.

  • fried_egg

    Yes! Sony needs its gaming platform to be an app on as many Android phones as possible, just like it needs its music and video service there. These are the revenue streams that make money not hardware making, and especially not ones where gimmicks mean fragmentation to a standard they do not control. If Sony can make the best components and ensure their hardware gets them then thats where the phone making is useful… But software needs to be avaialble to all on Android and as an Android phone maker they need to then grab happy Android app users to their handsets.

  • Sonythetop

    Playstation for mobile should go to Apple too… or other one.. Just Not the copy cat ( Samsung )

  • no improvement

    Why not … and for ps 1 titles bla bla bla why not work things out on thier laptops atleast it would be better help for sony in pockets and for devalopers with the SDK u provided and don’t tell me ps3 can’t be ported in to pc if not laptop or they call technoligy push over the long years and class Sony{ whatever void main(String args){ System.out.println(“Fuck You Sony You Are No Help At All Cuz”); lol im begging to wonder if i can count the problems in int but i think double would do the trick well whatever
    }
    if{ not please;
    }else{ fuck off to the trash ur products go;
    }
    }

  • i think SONY should improve PS suite/mobile content first before give other phone maker the licenses.
    Today, PS certified is not a device selling point, but in near future it will

  • Sony Fan

    Giving a unique feature of the XPeria SmartPhones to the other companies??!!! are you(Sony) crazy?

  • deyoncs

    Xperia should get playstation mobile because they were FIRST. they made the xperia play, what sence does it make to have a playstation phone but cant do all of the provided playstation options. (lets go team Xperia)

  • arnav

    Can xperia p be PlayStation certified

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