Oct 8, 2013
Recently, Sony have had some hard times when it comes to mobile gaming, with evry little uptake with the PS Vita.
However, in the future they are attempting to change that. In a recent interview, Shuhei Yoshida has explained how Sony are adapting to a new mobile landscape, involving tablets and smartphones. The PS Vita has had much greater success in Japan than the rest of the world, due to a number of reasons. Many popular franchises in Japan are released on mobile, whereas generally consoles are home to the biggest franchises in the West. Yoshida explains this, stating:
Everyone here spends hours on trains and portable devices are very popular to play games on. Because I lived in the USA, I don’t know about people in Europe – but American people love large TVs.
The recent announcement of PS Vita TV was also very interesting, due to the fact it was only announced for Japan. There is a lot of Western market interest however, which Sony seemingly did not expect. The potential is great, with content streaming and the potential for a huge catalogue of games, past and present. With a lower price-tag than the PS4, it could open new markets for Sony.
Once the cloud gaming services are started this is a very easy, low-entry product that will let you enjoy libraries of hundreds of games without downloading or any storage.
Sony have been very busy, also redeisning the PS Vita, which allows it to compete with the 3DS and other handheld gaming platforms. Sony do not deny that smartphones and tablets have damaged sales, but they still have plans to adjust to recent trends in the industry.
In the past, we felt like these guys were competition to our portable games, in general – but now, everyone owns these smartphones and tablets. It’s like everyone had a PC before – it’s a tool that people use every day. Why not try to include them in the PlayStation ecosystem? Not that we’re releasing lots of games on these mobile products, but to somehow push our PlayStation information to these devices that people already use every day.
Sony seem to be attempting to embrace mobile platforms, rather than compete against them. I recently played Playstation All-Stars Island on my Android phone. It brings your favourite PS characters into a mobile game wherever you are. The quality may be a tad lackluster, (aside from copying certain game-models), yet it is at least a step in the right direction. Sony plan to expand their mobile platforms, embracing the popularity of tablets, and other smart devices. Recent news has been there will a companion app for Knack, which will encourage players to check out the proper game, as the app will be entirely free. This could work in Sony’s favour, as good publicity for their games, and expanding their presence onto non-Sony platforms. This is a trend that’s sure to continue.
It’s totally different from PlayStation Mobile – we’ll continue to support that, but more as the entry SDK for people who are less professional. For PS Mobile, you don’t need any dedicated hardware. You just download the SDK, just click certain buttons and now you can develop games on PlayStation. In that way, we believe that has a purpose. These are two different activities.
It seems then, that instead of pushing the PS Vita into competing with tablets and smartphones, they are taking a new strategy. Sony have come to understand that they all serve their own uses, and that the PS Vita can be used to enhance and compliment the PlayStation experience, bringing new features to the console and mobile worlds. Instead of a dedicated gaming device, Ps Vita will become a streaming hub, and alongside PS Vita TV, the possibilities will open up even further; especially when Sony are able to implement cloud features.
Sony have taken note of their failures, and learnt to work around them. Instead of mindlessly forcing the PS Vita on the public evenmore, they are thinking of alternative ways to make the handheld appealing. The PlayStation Universe is expanding quite quickly, and creating this ecosystem is surely quite innovative. It will just depend how the public take to all the varying Sony platforms.