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.

Previous post:

Next post: