Sony appears to be taking a leaf out of Microsoft’s book and introducing a multi-screen ‘push’ approach to its gaming. Much like the way that the upcoming line of Windows 8 tablets will integrate with Xbox Live via Smartglass, the PS Vita is getting some extra-screen functionality for the PS3. Sony will also be instituting a service whereby users can pay a single price to purchase a game on both PS3 and PS Vita.
We like both of these concepts, as it indicates that Sony at least has some idea of where the mobile market is going. However, apart from further integrating its line of Android smartphones with the PlayStation network as far as mobile game titles goes, we don’t think that PS Vita/PS3 cross integration can really compare to Microsoft’s Smartglass.
The reason we feel this way is that, even though Microsoft is yet to sell a single Windows 8 tablet, portable gaming console sales are seriously in decline. With the rise of mobile gaming, the average person looking for some casual distraction no longer needs to purchase a costly extra device, let alone go to the effort of carrying it around all day along with multiple separate physical game titles. This new PS Vita/PS3 integration still sounds great, but we don’t think there’ll be too many new customers buying a PS Vita just because of the new added functionality.
It’s much more likely that someone who is already shopping for tablet will instead choose a Windows 8 tablet over an iPad or, more realistically, over an Android tablet because of the cross functionality between their Xbox and Win8 tab.
We feel as though we should mention the extra support that the Android PlayStation Mobile store will be getting, as well as more support across a range of Android manufacturers, more game titles in general. With indie titles specifically mentioned, PlayStation Mobile games will be available across multiple platforms, which we took to mean both the PS3 and PS Vita.
The idea here is to rival both iOS and Android in terms of gaming-related sales, which is kind of strange considering that PlayStation Mobile was originally designed purely for Android devices. However, it seems like Sony may just be rehashing what Microsoft has already did, and is about to move on from, with its Xbox Live integration on the Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system. With Windows 8 right around the corner and the exciting cross-platform integration that we’re hoping to see, specifically when it comes to games, PlayStation Mobile may end up seeming a little bit last-gen when it comes to mobile gaming ecosystems.
Of course only time will tell. PlayStation Mobile obviously has the potential to be a great and far-reaching digital gaming service and it might even bring in some much needed revenue to Sony’s mobile department. However, we won’t be holding any breaths here until a little more hands-on information can be acquired.