Sony Computer Entertainment this week announced that it will drive the proliferation of the PlayStation platforms through “cross-platform feature” which realizes cross platform game play between PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. Through cross-platform features, SCE will deliver gaming experience which leverages the capabilities of both systems and enables users to enjoy gaming wherever and whenever.
The idea behind the cross-platform capabilities between PlayStation 3 and portable PlayStation Vita is to increase the value of owning multiple PlayStation devices by utilizing cloud technologies as well as specific capabilities of the PS3 and PS Vita. Initially, there will be about ten games supporting specific cross-platform features, but their number will gradually grow. Eventually, the number of cross-platform capabilities may also increase (for example, now it is impossible to play games from PS Vita on big screen using PS3, but it is a natural feature for Apple's platform that is widely used by owners of iOS devices and Apple TV set-top-boxes).
Initially, there will be several cross-platform features, including:
- The Cross-Play feature that allows PS3 and PS Vita users to enjoy match or collaborative game play.
- The Cross-Controller feature that allows a player to use PS Vita as a controller to play games on PS3 by utilizing touch screen, rear touch pad, six-axis motion sensing system, and cameras. Users can enjoy the two types of gaming experiences through the large TV screen and PS Vita display.
- Cross-Save feature: by managing saved data between PS3 and PS Vita, the Cross-Save feature enables users on the go to continue playing games on their PS Vita, right from where they left off on their PS3s at home.
- The Cross-Goods feature allows users to enjoy various content such as purchased downloaded content and/or user generated content on both PS3 and PS Vita by transferring by sharing between both platforms, or by other ways.
- The Remote Play feature allows PS Vita users to remotely access their PS3 to enjoy content including games and videos.
Even though the idea of cross-platform and cloud features definitely deserves applauds, it remains to be seen how well it is going to be received by the game developers as supporting any feature requires time. Moreover, compulsory ownership of PS Vita for a PS3 game to enable second screen feature will also naturally reduce its sales.