It seems like a long ago, but it was only February 2011 when Sony unveiled its “PlayStation Phone”, calling it the Xperia Play. Sony had made smartphones before. It had also made gaming consoles and handheld entertainment devices. What no one had done was marry an entertainment system into a cutting edge smartphone. The market potential was huge, and Sony knew it. Not only did Sony release the Xperia Play, it also introduced the PlayStation Certified program which would let other manufacturers build devices worthy of the PlayStation name and enable them to play PlayStation Mobile games.
Unfortunately the PlayStation Certified program didn’t take off. Developers didn’t need a Sony sticker to make games successful, they ended up being able to do that all on their own. However, we were still left with smartphones and tablets running games, which although convenient, didn’t lend themselves to comfortable game play.
Lets shift gears for a moment.
NVIDIA makes great hardware. I’ve personally used its video cards and even motherboards using chipsets from the company for years. Even the computer that I’m using to write this article is powered by an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti video card. NVIDIA is also makes SoCs that power some of today’s more notable smartphones and tablets. With all that power and gaming experience, it should come as no surprise that NVIDIA would eventually come out with something game-related in the mobile space. Not long ago it introduced us to the NVIDIA Shield, a portable gaming system powered by Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.
The concept is brilliant. NVIDIA was able to bootstrap a portable gaming system to market by leveraging its experience with SoCs, build upon the Android operating system and Google Play Services, and take advantage of the games that are already available from the Play Store. Additionally, NVIDIA is bringing PC gaming to its portable device though some interesting technology and a PC game streaming service.
Sony, however, is nowhere to be found. It already has a presence in Android-powered smartphones. It already has an insanely popular console, complete with online components for interactive game play. All Sony is missing is a current version of the Xperia Play which lets us play our PlayStation games and connect to the PlayStation Network.
With Android rising in popularity, Android games starting to rival PC and console titles, and mobile networks finally at a point where speed and latency aren’t an issue, Sony could score a major win by releasing a new Xperia Play and bring mobile gaming and portable entertainment to a whole new level.
Image Credits: Sony, UbiSoft