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Sony's Second Screen Strategy

Two screens? It'll never catch on.

When Sony released the Vita, we all thought it would make possible the sort of experiences we’d seen first with fantastical PSP demonstrations. More recently, the Wii U had been unveiled amidst demonstration videos showing how innovative a second screen could be with games and media consumption.

Then Microsoft announced SmartGlass at this year’s E3 and our first thought was why the Vita and PlayStation 3 (and even Sony’s smartphones and tablets) combination had failed to meet expectations and deliver that experience.

Well, Sony seems to have noticed that this trend for second screens is picking up pace and although they’re a few years behind where they could (should?) have been, their European head, Jim Ryan, is talking about the promise of the Vita alongside the PlayStation 3.

One of our main strategies is this broadening of the PlayStation ecosystem – whether it’s the use of Vita in some sort of second screen capacity or whether it’s like the announcements yesterday of PlayStation Mobile. We think that ubiquitous access to content is something that consumers are expecting and are entitled to. It’s one of the great things about a company like Sony is that we can provide it. We’re very pleased to do that

Without further details, it’s easy to remember the infamous PSP wing mirror demonstration and how that innovative promise was completely ignored but this time it could be different.

Nintendo will be charming gamers and pursuing their expansive casual customer base with uses for their GamePad second screen and Microsoft seems like they’ll be pushing content providers to create for their SmartGlass initiative. With competitors in a position – and seemingly more willing – to do what Sony should have perhaps been doing since the PSP’s release, there is added pressure on them to finally meet that potential.

Source: CVG

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  1. Deathbrin
    Since: Aug 2009

    That’s for women, right? Multitasking and all

    Comment posted on 11/06/2012 at 09:34.
    • TSBonyman
      Since: Dec 2009

      Nonsense, men can multitask too. Why, the other day i was listening to my ipod while walking AND reading a magazine AND putting in eyedrops AND crossing the road- and even while doing all that i also managed to get knocked down by a car! O.o

      Comment posted on 11/06/2012 at 10:41.
  2. freezebug2
    Since: Dec 2008

    Absolutely, Sony should have been leading the way in the second screen experience, and I’m glad to see that they are realising the importance of it at last.
    Many peoples complaints about the Vita have been the shortlist of titles available to date, but with the second screen technology in place, the library would be expanded by a hundred fold (well, let’s just say a lot :P)………obviously not as fully portable games, but playable on the handheld all the same, without the need to commandeer the family HDTV in some circumstances.
    In my view this is the lift that the Vita really needs. I never could understand why the obvious was so obscure to Sony until now, but this is indeed good news….Bang on Sony!

    Comment posted on 11/06/2012 at 09:59.
    • cam the man
      Since: May 2009

      It’s about eight years since the ‘wing mirror’ was shown so Sony should have been way ahead of the competition with this.

      Comment posted on 11/06/2012 at 14:00.
  3. SH Number 7/Mini-Lipscombe
    Since: May 2011

    But very nice. I do hope Sony use the Vita in this way and not just as an extra person playing verses or co-op as they demonstrated at E3, the thing could be a controller exactly like the Wii U gamepad.
    P.s Typo at the bottom, it says “sin” instead of “since” :)

    Comment posted on 11/06/2012 at 10:00.
    • Peter Chapman
      Team TSA: Editor
      Since: Forever

      Damn you autocorr… oh, no, that was just my stupid fingers… As you were, autocorrect.

      (fixed, thanks!)

      Comment posted on 11/06/2012 at 10:09.
  4. cc_star
    Team TSA: Writer
    Since: Forever

    Sony innovation followed by the normal dropping of the ball or just not a vigorous enough follow through.

    Whatever Sony do, Microsoft’s approach of working on any smartphone/tablet is quite refreshing so hopefully Sony don’t just carry on with their silo building and at least open it up to PlayStation Certified devices although it would of course be better as an app on any device.

    Despite Sony having several years advantage in this area it’s the expected serious launch of Apple into the market that had caused Nintendo & Microsoft to make their moves. Sony’s experience, even if it’s only r&d experience should mean they’re back in the game soon

    Comment posted on 11/06/2012 at 10:06.
    • bowie
      Since: Jan 2012

      Be careful what you wish for. Nintendo has had at least a full year of concerted effort directed at bringing fun, workable concepts to their dual screen home console after years of working with a dual screen portable. What was the result? What was widely regarded as a disappointing E3 press conference which failed to sell the WiiU. Below in your faint praise of the system you didn’t mention a single Nintendo game. Perhaps Sony hasn’t capitalised on the second screen idea because it is a barren field.

      I think Microsoft’s approach will face an even harder time of being relevant and useful for two reasons. First, developers can’t rely on a player to have an enabled phone so anything they do with it will have to be optional or they will alienate part of the install base. Which will limit the features to gimmicks you could live without. Second, fragmentation will mean that developers will have to work with the lowest common denominator or again risk alienating part of the install base. By working with a variety of devices Microsoft have lost one of the key benefits of consoles, consistency.

      Ultimately I think Microsoft has come up with a solution to a problem no one has. Trey Parker put it well when he asked “how many times have you been watching an episode of South Park and thought I’d like to be able to watch this on my TV, while hooked into my mobile device, which is being controlled by my tablet device that’s plugged into my oven, all while sitting in the refrigerator?”

      Comment posted on 11/06/2012 at 14:03.
  5. gaffers101
    Since: Oct 2008

    I’d love to see the Vita integrated more with the PS3, but I can’t help thinking that if Sony were going to do it we would have seen something by now.

    Comment posted on 11/06/2012 at 10:11.
  6. evret
    Since: Mar 2012

    sony added the second screen to singstar a year or 2 ago. While someone else is singing you can connect a psp (vita may work too) via remote play and queue up songs from your available songs to be played next without interrupting the main screen at all.
    it doesnt require that you download anything first, the ps3 streams the video to psp and inputs are sent back.

    Comment posted on 11/06/2012 at 10:26.
  7. tonycawley
    Pint! Pint!
    Since: Feb 2009

    The vita is capable of playing most ps3 games via remote play, yet no developers are implementing it. I think Sony need to make that compulsory, not too bothered about gaming with 2 screens but if Sony made remote play integration mandatory I’d get a vita immediately. That would free up the tv for the mrs to watch mindless nonsense while I play ps3 games on my vita.

    Comment posted on 11/06/2012 at 10:29.
  8. TSBonyman
    Since: Dec 2009

    It sounds to me like they’ve barely considered it but that it falls within their broad blueprint for the Vita. I think i’ll wait and see how that LBP cross-control works out.

    Comment posted on 11/06/2012 at 10:35.
  9. ron_mcphatty
    Since: Sep 2008

    I remember all this talk back in 2008, I doubt much will come of remote play for a year or two yet. Cross play should be pushed first really, if nothing else it gives a great impression of the Vita’s power.

    Comment posted on 11/06/2012 at 10:37.
  10. colmshan1990
    Since: Apr 2009

    Remote Play would be good, but not 2 screen gameplay.
    You’d have to take your eyes off one screen during normal gameplay.
    Look at Arkham Asylum and ZombiU on WiiU. Gameplay continues on the main screen while you look away to switch weapon or ‘hack’ a door.
    Doesn’t look a bright idea to me, it’s not a DS with the screens close together.

    Comment posted on 11/06/2012 at 10:43.
    • cc_star
      Team TSA: Writer
      Since: Forever

      I thought ZombiU showed how it could work, it wasn’t like you were just glancing down to see a map as you were approaching a bend at 150mph, it was part of the gameplay.
      Alien Colonial Marines motion scanner will be a killer app for it, although I think the Pro pad will be a better controller to play the game on.

      Something not shown as it may not even be coming out on WiiU, but a potential great use is the smartphone hacking in Watch Dogs, given Ubisoft’s commitment to the WiiU and it likely being a PC/Orbis/Durango/PS3/X360 cross-gen title I’d expect it to come out on the WiiU

      Comment posted on 11/06/2012 at 11:37.

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