Wow, this is pretty interesting. Instead of just a PlayStation Phone, which Sony is widely reported to be working on, the company has announced the PlayStation Suite, which will put PlayStation games not just on Sony’s phones but also on other phones, including Android. (Engadget)The Suite is a development framework and also basically an app store for games on Android. Sony will control the app store and probably attract tons of top-tier developers for the framework. They also hinted at other “content” that might be on the Suite.
This is a pretty ballsy move from Sony, and also a smart one. It looks increasingly likely that, as with point and shoot cameras, standalone mobile gaming devices are becoming subsumed into smartphones. Sony’s previous mobile gaming devices were underwhelming and software is where most of the value is. But Sony has an infuriating habit of trying to own every step of the value chain, sometimes shooting itself in the foot. For example, their PlayStation Portable was hampered by its disc format, the UMD, that only worked for the PSP but which Sony went on a quixotic quest to make the dominant mobile media format and have movie studios put out their movies on UMD.
So Sony is finally accepting reality and focusing on its strengths, marketing the heck out of a game platform and attracting developers to it.
Some people will whine about yet another app store on Android, but we think this could be good for the platform. So far the iPhone is ahead of Android on gaming, because it’s easier for developers to make money there. If Sony fixes that, that means Android phones will be more attractive and sell more.