We all get a big fat update on the new Playstation Mobile service at Gamescom, so heres the highlights.
Sony have been busy spilling the beans on what their Playstation Mobile services will look like when it is officially launched. Just to clear up any confusion here, this is what will be replacing Playstation Suite and the poorly supported PSPocket app I have been informed. Sony announced months ago that they wanted the PSMobile experience to be more than just PSOne classics, which is what you will find at the moment on the PS Store for certified devices. They want to offer rich and original gaming content that is optimised not just for dedicated controls like the Xperia PLAY & Vita but also touch screen.
What can we expect in terms of Games & When?
Firstly, this service will properly launch in Q4 this year, so expect to see by October or November on your PS Certified device. On opening, there should be 30 titles from a variety of third party developers and SCE themselves. They are keeping fairly tight lipped about a full list of games but the guys over at PocketGamer have picked up on iOS arcade smash 'Super Crate Box' being one of those titles.
Super Crate Box is a hugely successful arcade style platform shooter with retro graphics. Something that you will love if you are a fan of Orange Pixels titles on the Xperia PLAY.
A small bit of bad news next, apparently the back catalogue of PSOne games will be vanishing from Xperia and Tablet devices. Despite the classic titles from yesteryear being Sony's USP for the PS Certified devices till now, well the only offering, it will be vanishing and the whole back catalogue of titles will be exclusive to Vita and PS3 owners. Just to rub salt in the wounds, the library is about to extend massively to over 100 titles that include; Final Fantasy VII, Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil.
It's dissapointing in my eyes. I know the library was farely limited but I was always excited when a new batch came out. Plus I think this will just encourage piracy via emaulators. What do you guys think?
PS Mobile to be Cross Platform for fluid game play on the move and at home
Now to make up for it with something cool. the whole PS Mobile service will be cross platform between PS3 Vita and PS Cartified devices. Meaning that all of yoru games and progress will be stored on your Playstation Network ID. Meaning that you can save yoru progress on say your Tablet S, close it down and then connect on your Vita or Xperia PLAY. Picking up exactly where you left off on your previous session. This is such an awesome idea, I wish that more cross platform games would do this. The amount of times I open up something like Sonic or GTA on my Tablet and all my progress is on my Xperia PLAY.
Granted this is limited to only the PS Mobile games but at last we are starting to see Sony taking baby steps in the right direction.
Playstation Vita will be included in the PS Mobile experience
All of this news came with the PS Vita being the poster child for Playstation Mobile. I for one had been slightly confused by this, as I originally thought that Vita was a Certified device but then it didn't appear to have the same PS Pocket or Store so it couldn't have been. However showcasing the Vita as the main product for this service means that in their eyes, the Vita will offer the best PS Mobile experience as a flagship device. Then it becomes clear and I feel a little silly. The Vita doesn't need to be Playstation Certified as it is Playstation hardware. You only need PS Certification is the device isn't PS hardware.
Being a Vita owner, the other bit of news that caught my attention. Was that the Vita will now also be able to be used as a controller for the PS3 console. I think this is awesome! The amount of times, I thought that this would be a great USP for the Xperia PLAY I really did. Whatever the PLAY 2's incarnation will be, I am sure Sony will think about adding this functionality to it.
On the subject of hardware, a few more partners have come forward and confirmed the devices which ill also be waving the PS Mobile flag. As you may know already, HTC have this on their One series; the X, S and V. At this point I would just like to point out that I don't understand why the V is PS Mobile certified and yet devices like the Xperia P & U are not - But that's another rant for another article.
Then we have Asus onboard, they haven't confirmed which devices will be using this but I am sure it will be the Transformer series for sure. Did anyone else notice that the Transformer series also has the PS3 Pad Bluetooth drivers? We did! Perhaps this has been planned for a very long time. Now we have a device which has taken the Xperia PLAY concept and clicked enlarge, the WikiPad.
The WikiPad is a Tablet with an attachable game pad with full layout, including dual analog sticks, shoulder buttons and 4 front facing action buttons. I must confess that it looks quite cool, almost tempted to buy one when it comes out to try it. However, I love my Sony Tablet S and PS3 pad setup and Xperia PLAY too much. It would never replace any of these.
So with all of this news in mind, we have a good idea of the future of PS Mobile and it's looking good on the whole. I doubt we will see any more news at IFA at the end of this month, but we will keep our ears to the ground and be cataloging any updates and titles as and when they become available.