If you take a look at Sony’s finances as a whole company, PlayStation is killing it. Well, at least the PS4 is anyway, the PS Vita? Not so much. Sony’s home console is consistently outperforming the Xbox One and it’s bringing in the big bucks for Sony. Other divisions at Sony, such as their TV division aren’t doing stellar either, but the mobile division is sadly a sinking ship. Before we go too far, and I have to bat away flaming pitchforks, let me say this; I’m a fan of Sony’s products. I own the Xperia Z2 as my daily driver (which is a neat nod to the problems with the Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z4) and I love the PS4 and own a PS Vita and am very happy with that, too. Sadly, Sony have missed a big opportunity to save their Xperia brand from certain marginalisation at the hands of Samsung and Apple.
The PlayStation branding is a strong one, at least when it comes to gaming. Sure, the PS4 itself is a pretty home entertainment console, but it’s pretty damn good at playing games. You know what the second most likely device for consumers are to play games on? Well, it’s not the PS Vita, it’s their smartphones and tablets. PlayStation Mobile was an embarrassment for Sony, it held such promise yet delivered so very little. This July, the service is shutting down and will cease to exist come September. The PlayStation brand could help drive sales of Sony tablets and smartphone no problem, but Sony have failed to capitalize on the opportunity. In Sony’s defense, when PlayStation Mobile was introduced, nobody was sure how popular mobile gaming would become, but now it’s practically everywhere and for a lot of gamers it’s the only way they play.
Sure, there’s Remote Play on Xperia Z2 and Xperia Z3 devices and it works great, especially as you can use the excellent DualShock 4. However, Remote Play is very demanding on your network and it takes a lot to get a consistent experience. PlayStation Now is finally spreading its wings and hopefully, Sony will bring this to Android. You might think that’s crazy but it’s a perfect win-win for Sony. The Xperia Z line feature similar software and hardware, so developing PlayStation Now for just those devices wouldn’t be too difficult. From there, people will need to buy controllers, so there’s some revenue there, but also Sony can push first-party titles like Uncharted and such. For a long time, gamers have wanted to buy a phone all about gaming, Sony tried with the Xperia Play, and we all remember the NGAGE. PlayStation Now however, would give gamers with a Sony phone a window into their PlayStation favorites in their original form, wherever they are.
PlayStation Now might not be the answer, but it seems like the less complicated option for them to bolster the Xperia line. Maybe Sony would be better off buying studios and publishing games onto Android directly under the PlayStation branding? Who knows, but one thing’s for sure, Sony have a golden egg just waiting for them to take advantage of it.