Sony opens PlayStation Mobile to indie devs, but its reach is still limited

sony opens playstation mobile to indie devs but its reach is still limited

PlayStation Mobile, Sony’s PlayStation branded app store selling bite-sized games on a number of Android phones and tablets, opened at the beginning of October following a year of beta testing. Not just Sony’s own Xperia devices, but also phones from HTC and ASUS tablets. It was a tentative step outside of the contained world of Sony’s devoted gaming hardware like the PlayStation 3 as well as a way to begin drawing links between the competitive but broad mobile device market and Sony’s struggling portable game machine, the PS Vita. The problem was there weren’t many games. The newly opened PlayStation Mobile Developer Program should help change that.

Independent developers that want to get their games on PlayStation Certified devices, whether a smartphone or the Vita, can register as a developer through Sony’s newly opened web portal. There they can download the PlayStation Mobile SDK for development and get their games published for a fee of $99.

Unlike Nintendo’s new Wii U eShop which lets indie developers decide on a price for their games or even Valve’s Steam where developers can collaborate with the company to determine the best price point for their game, Sony determines the ultimate price of games submitted to PlayStation Mobile. A rather confusing diagram at the Developer Program portal details how Sony purchases apps at a wholesale price from the publisher and sells it to the consumer at a higher retail price, like most retail businesses. The example given is that an app or game whose wholesale price is 69-cents will be sold for 99-cents on PlayStation Mobile, with Sony collecting the extra 30-cents.

This is actually a standard revenue sharing split in mobile gaming. Apple, Google, and Amazon all take 30 percent of app sales through their respective digital download services. Sony is offering the same money making opportunity to game makers as its competitors, at least on a mathematical level. The number of PlayStation Certified devices in consumers’ hands, though, is still limited. ASUS tablets according to IDC only account for just below 9 percent of the global tablet market. In terms of smartphones, Sony is actually fourth in the market in terms of global sales. It sold 8.8 million phones last quarter, placing it ahead of its PlayStation Mobile partner HTC who sold just 7.8 million. PlayStation Mobile is only available on three different HTC handsets, though, meaning developers looking for the biggest possible audience on mobile devices will still be limited on Sony’s service.

Sony needs to get Samsung on board, and make the Galaxy line of phones PlayStation Certified if PlayStation Mobile is going to become a premiere spot for indie game development.


Sony reshuffles its mobile division, gears up for comeback at MWC

Sony Mobile had a tough 2018, but it's looking to turn its mobile fortunes around in 2019. We sat down with VP of Marketing, Don Mesa, at CES 2019 to find out what the company has in store for us in the year ahead.

Samsung's advanced folding phone needed 'total reconfiguration' to make it real

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy Fold, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.
Emerging Tech

New research could allow fast diagnosis of viruses like Ebola and Zika

A new development in molecular biology is a step towards instant diagnosis of viruses like Ebola or Zika. Researchers have found a way to use a mobile device to identify plant viruses and potentially animal and human viruses too.

One game console is better than the rest, and we're not afraid to say it

We've seen a relatively large influx of new consoles in the last year, including the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One X, so we've updated our recommendations for the best dedicated game hardware.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: heat-powered watches, phone cases with reflexes

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Verizon video game streaming service leaked, currently testing on Nvidia Shield

Verizon is currently testing a video game streaming service that is already running on the Nvidia Shield set-top box, according to The Verge. The platform, named Verizon Gaming, will also eventually launch on Android smartphones.

Dataminers discover SNES games, more emulators for Nintendo Switch Online

Nintendo Switch Online may soon launch SNES games and more emulators, according to data miners. The list of hidden SNES titles include Breath of Fire 2 and Star Fox 2, while the other emulators may be the Nintendo 64 and Nintendo GameCube.

‘RollerCoaster Tycoon 2’ ride takes 12 years to complete

A RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 player has constructed a coaster in the game that will take more than 12 years to complete from beginning to end, and is actually a tiny ride taking up a small portion of the landscape.

‘Battlefield V’ adds Squad Conquest mode in ‘Lightning Strikes’ update

Electronic Arts and DICE have detailed what is included in the Battlefield V update Lightning Strikes. The update includes access to the mode Squad Conquest through the end of January.

Here's everything you need to know to trade in 'Pokémon Go'

After literally years of waiting, Pokémon Go finally gives trainers the option to trade Pokémon with others. It's not easy, though, and the cost is quite high if you try trading with strangers.

You're never too broke to enjoy the best free-to-play games

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.

‘Rocket League’ is the latest game to get full cross-platform play

Psyonix has announced that Rocket League now supports full cross-platform play across PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC, joining Fortnite as the only games to do so.

Here's what you need to know about 'World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth'

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth is the latest expansion for the now 14-year-old MMORPG. It goes back to the roots of the Alliance vs. Horde conflict. Here's what you need to know.
Product Review

'New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe' is 2D platforming wizardry

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is the latest Wii U game to come back from the dead on Switch. And wow, it’s much better than we remembered.