Photo: Dan Frommer, Business Insider
Sony just launched five PlayStation games for Android, but of course you need a Sony Xperia Play phone to play them.From Sony’s point of view, this makes perfect sense. The company needs to set the Xperia Play apart from all the other Android gadgets out there, and PlayStation games are Sony’s intellectual property.
But if enough companies do this, the Android Market will become a crazy quilt of apps that only work on specific devices.
That will drive consumers to alternate app stores like Amazon’s Android store. Or, worse yet, to a mass stores run by each carrier and handset maker and everybody else who ever wants to make an Android device. Imagine a Facebook Android store with apps that work only on Facebook phones. A Samsung Android store. A Verizon Android store. And so on.
This is a perfect example of why Google had to crack down on Android.
The crackdown makes Google look hypocritical after all its talk about Android being an “open” platform, and the developers who bought the line that Android would remain a set of infinitely customisable plumbing like Linux have a right to be disappointed.
But Google had to make a choice between pleasing users and pleasing its business partners and the open source community.
Google came down on the side of users. Good call.