Missed Opportunities: The PlayStation Phone

Posted October 26, 2012 by Shamarri Miller in Editorials


Missed Opportunities will be a reoccurring segment on Sony-gamer.com and will be a piece where I look at things that Sony could have executed better. We all know there’s a ton of them so if you have one you’d like to see covered leave it in the comments.

The Sony Xperia Play had many gamers excited when it was originally announced back in 2011. The thought of having a PlayStation Phone excited many gamers. Assuredly many gamers had thoughts of playing God of War, Gran Turismo or Uncharted, however those thoughts have failed to come to fruition. Sadly it would seem that the execution of the PlyStation Phone has been poorly handled by Sony and I hope with the Xperia Play’s successor Sony gets it right, but rather than moan about whats wrong with the Xperia Play’s execution I will try to highlight some ways of fixing the issues in its successor.

By not putting a real development effort behind the gaming side of the Xperia Play. It’s like a PC gaming on a Vaio, which is the same on all PC’s despite the tacked on physical controls.  Sony needs to have the mentality that the next Xperia Play should be a PlayStation console. This would do wonders to differentiate the Xperia Play from other mobile phones in a crowded market. The same way console gaming is different from PC gaming. As it stands now, the gaming is a tacked on addition when it should be the centerpiece

If Sony were to create a development environment similar to that of the PS3 and convince third parties to jump on board they would more than likely make their money back. The simple fact is that console sales will never match that of mobile phones and this broader customer base would more than likely benefit Sony and its third-party partners. People are also always on their mobile phones so the content provided would receive increased exposure too.

The next Xperia Play needs to have a concerted effort from Sony’s first-party studios and their third-party partners. Mobile gaming is on the rise and anyone with some real talent could easily run the mobile industry. While, Gameloft is a solid studio they lack the pedigree of Sony’s first-party studios and most major third-party studios like Activision or EA, yet when you look at Gameloft’s sales for most of their mobile games they range from 250,000 to over a 1.000,000.

The dedicated gaming environment could also lead to new IP’s Sony could then move over to other platforms, or they could bring existing IP’s like Gran Turismo, Uncharted or Killzone 2 the mobile and the same would apply to third-party developers.

Mobile phones are also always connected and everyone has one, with gaming becoming more social all the time. It would be awesome for Sony to leverage PSN. How cool would it be to be connected to your PSN friends? And how convenient would it be to send your friend a text and have it go directly to their PSN message box? Or how easy would it be to send your friend a reminder about that clan match in Battlefield? And if Sony ever adopts cross game chat for their next home console being able to voice chat with your friend on his PS4 using your PlayStation phone would be “awesomesauce.” The opportunities for inter-connectivity are broad and the things listed are merely just a few cool ideas

Sony should also maintain the Android marketplace for gaming as well, shutting off the phone would probably hurt sales and there are some compelling games on the Android marketplace. Also PlayStation mobile is a good start, but seems now as more of a way to get mobile games on Vita.

But yea I would definitely like to see Sony really put their weight behind a PlayStation Phone using the ideas I listed and I think with the advantages I pointed out is could be turn out very well for them if executed well.


About the Author

Shamarri Miller



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