The PlayStation Mobile Store went live on Android just over two months ago to a somewhat muted response. Of course Sony’s mobile gaming store is only available to devices that are “PlayStation Certified.” Originally this only included a few high-end Sony smart phones. But since then Sony has announced partnerships with several other OEMs to licence its “PlayStation Certified” stamp. With the recent inclusion of the HTC One X, One S, and One V, HTC now has 6 PlayStation Certified devices. Needless to say, these certification haven’t done much to keep HTC from struggling this year.
At E3 2012 Sony announced that PlayStation Mobile had 56 established software developers committed to generating games for this new ecosystem. But currently there are only between 30 and 40 games available to the relatively small number of us who own PlayStation Mobile compatible handsets. Some of the games do have impressive graphics, for a mobile game, and some of them are even fun to play, but is the gap between the gaming available to you on a PlayStation Certified device and the options that the Android app stores (Amazon, Play Store, App Brain, etc) offer really that big? HTC and Sony, especially recently, have put out devices that are full of compromise. Slow processors, fuzzy screens and awkward form factors have been common in much of what these companies have offered to the Android faithful. Back when HTC released the original HTC Evo it was, for one shinning moment, the maker of the best Android phone of all time. But Sony has never given us much of a reason to be excited about its mobile devices. It’s tough to see PlayStation Certification being the tipping point that brings HTC back into the black.
Mobile gaming is a lot of fun, but for most of us it is a casual pursuit. We slash at fruit or sling grumpy balls of feathers while we do other things, or wait for things to begin. Spending money on one of Sony’s overpriced phones, or one of HTC’s recent under-powered offerings just to have a few fancy games available (at extra cost) doesn’t seem worth it to me. Could PlayStation certification ever make the difference as you make your next smart phone purchasing decision?