Sony: Console Games on Mobile Devices Will Not Provide Decent Experience

Sony’s Initiative to Port PlayStation Video Games to New Devices Faced Too Many Difficulties

by Anton Shilov
02/13/2013 | 11:57 PM

One of the ways to platform holders to capitalize on the rapidly growing market of smartphones and tablets is to port their outdated games originally developed for consoles that are non-existent on the market to the new platforms. Sony Computer Entertainment attempted to capitalize on this two years ago and faced numerous difficulties. Today, the company is taking a different approach.


In January, 2011, Sony Computer Entertainment announced its PlayStation to Android initiative, under which it planned to deliver "PlayStation experience" to certified devices based on Google Android platforms. SCE intended to allow proprietary games to run on third-party devices legally. In August, 2012, the company scrapped its initiative to port original PlayStation games to certified device and decided to concentrate on specially-developed content for PlayStation Mobile-branded devices.

Even though Sega has managed to port significant number of games from consoles to Apple iOS platform, Sony believes that mobile devices need different titles that will only be played occasionally.

"What people were saying is not that we have to fit these games into the device, but fit these games into how people use it. People are using games during these little bursts of time. So we thought, what is a console game? A console game is ten 30-60-minute levels. Mobile games are like hundreds of levels that are three to six minutes, sometimes even less. What if we take the higher quality graphics, and the narratives that everyone is asking for, and we put it on a mobile phone and fit it into these little bursts of time. We took that back to consumers, and they said 'Yes, that's it exactly, that's what we want'," director of emerging platforms for Sony Computer Entertainment America, spoke to an audience at the Appsworld conference, reports GamesIndustry web-site.

Gamers are unlikely to see God of War or first parts of Final Fantasy franchise on smartphones and tablets, which essentially leaves those games on outdated/outgoing/unavailable platforms. Sony’s motivations remain uncertain as there are numerous titles originally developed for PCs, including Prince of Persia and multiple Sonic-branded games, available on mobile devices. According to Sony, smartphones and tablets have a number of drawbacks.

"There is a real problem with putting console games on mobile phones; it's the device. Tablets are a little bit better, but all mobile devices have three main drawbacks: The screen size, the battery life, and where you play them. It can be sunny, too rainy, windy or noisy; it's hard to get into a console type game in that type of environment,” said Mr. Mahoney.

It was sad to see Sony abandoning efforts to port old games to new platforms as it would open up new opportunities for the whole industry. Nonetheless, the PlayStation Mobile is still in its early days and maybe going forward the company will change its opinion regarding games for mobile devices.