Sony's having another go at making an app shop. Previously dubbed PlayStation Suite, the PlayStation Mobile platform will let you buy and download 'snack-sized' games for the Vita or PlayStation-certified Android tablets and smart phones.
Currently in open beta, Sony says it's trying to make the new platform accessible to indie developers, as well as making it simple to build games that will work on the Vita, smart phones and tablets. The new platform could see a new influx of mobile games for PlayStation-certified phones and tablets, as well as treating the Vita to some of the mobile-gaming fairy dust that's working so well for Apple and Android.
PlayStation Mobile will be tied to your PSN account, and just like with iOS gadgetry, if you buy a game on one device you'll be able to access it on another without paying any more cash.
Sounds good -- the risk however is that Sony complicates the app-buying process by introducing a new place to buy games alongside Google Play. We'll also need to see whether Sony is able to deliver enough titles to make the platform compelling. So far a handful of games have been confirmed (including Lemmings).
The Xperia Play was Sony's earlier effort to conquer the mobile world, but suffered from a lack of classic titles to download. There's currently no shortage of decent games for Android and iOS, so unless Sony works really hard to stuff PlayStation Mobile with brilliant time-wasters that you can't get anywhere else, I think it'll struggle to stand out from the crowd.
I'll also be interested to see how control and screen-size variation between the Vita, Android tablets and smart phones will affect gameplay. Only the Vita boasts comprehensive physical controls, so we'll have to wait and see how well games translate from one platform to another.
Asus and Wikipad have both signed up for PlayStation Mobile, so expect more compatible devices to be unveiled soon.
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