The future of video game handhelds is here, and it’s not called Playstation This or Nintendo That.
The minute that Sony announced the NGP I was amazed by the its horsepower. Then seconds later I started hearing about all these smartphones with very similar capabilities. We live in a world that is very different than previous generations. Every couple of months there’s a new smartphone that you can buy that allows you to play more and better games. So why do you need a second device such as the NGP to play handheld gaming?
Fast forward to the Super Bowl XLV and Sony showed off the Xperia PLAY – a smartphone that emphasizes gaming. Originally gaming blogs were calling the leaked images of this handheld device as the Playstation Phone. So yeah probably like you I was confused. Why didn’t Sony make the NGP into a full-fledge smartphone/gaming device?
Today at the Mobile World Congress Sony officially announced the Xperia PLAY. They revealed that it is part of their new Playstation Certified Device family. It looks like they’ll be taking the brand name of Playstation and throwing it up onto many gadgets in the years to come – the first of which is the Xperia PLAY.
I think this is a important move for Sony. They’ve realized that the launch window and life cycle for handheld gaming devices have shrunk. There is so much more handheld competition out there and over time that’s only going to increase. As long as people want the best of the best, in order for Playstation to stay relevant in the handheld space they’ve got to release yearly devices that feature consistent and exclusive gaming experiences. The Playstation Certified Device family will allow Sony to do that while not diluting their hardcore gaming fanbase.
If you want more hardcore handheld gaming experiences with a device that will be around for several years then go with the NGP. If you want slightly more casual handheld gaming experiences on a device that you could upgrade within two years then go with a Playstation certified smartphone. That’s a very simplified way of looking at it, but lets face it the video game world continues to evolve in ways that I don’t think many saw back in the 90’s with Nintendo and Sega.
Who knows maybe even by the time the next-generation of consoles rolls out we’ll see Playstation Certified Devices for your big screen TV instead of an official Playstation 4.