Jim Ryan, Sony’s European head, has spoken about the future make up of the PlayStation Mobile marketplace. Formerly PlayStation Suite, the platform puts Sony’s gaming brand on mobile apps available for a multitude of devices, including the company’s own mobile handsets, HTC handsets and the PlayStation Vita.
Over 50 smaller developers are said to be working on games for the platform already and I’ve previously said that I think it might be the thing to really spur on uptake and spending on the Vita.
Now, in an interview with GI.biz, Ryan has said that Sony are understandably cautious about what their brand represents. He said that Sony has to be careful it is “ensuring that anything that is offered on this platform is of proper PlayStation quality and that people feel comfortable and safe that they are not going to inadvertently stumble upon any of the junk that exists in that wider marketplace.”
On one hand, that sounds like a good thing. There is an awful lot of noise on the AppStore and it makes it almost impossible to find those great mobile gaming gems without support from Apple themselves or an expensive marketing campaign that is at crossed purpose to the smaller development environment. But introducing any sort of barrier to that kind of mobile marketplace adds an obstacle that tiny indie developers might struggle to overcome.
I’ll be honest, the thought of a Sony certification process acting as a barrier to content arriving on their PlayStation Mobile platform does nothing for my previously enthusiastic confidence in the idea.
I’m all for finding a way to curate or otherwise surface quality content but Sony’s certification processes haven’t exactly worked for Minis – a platform with a fraction of the size of the AppStore and similar (although, admittedly on a much smaller scale) problems with quality to noise ratio.
An extra barrier between development and marketplace might be enough to put off indie developers considering that PlayStation Mobile is such a tiny potential market in comparison to other mobile marketplaces with fewer barriers of entry.