Does gaming have a future on Android?

Taylor Martin
 from  Concord, NC
| November 3, 2010

The PlayStation phone made it's big debut on headlines last week with a whole gallery of high-res photos. Rumors have been floating around of such a mythical beast for quite some time, but now that we know it's real, what does it mean for Android? There has always been a strong push for application support for the next-gen platforms such as Android. Along with that comes game support. We've all grown used to the quick style flash-like games that are openly available in Android Market, all of general low-quality. Popular games you would find on a flash gaming website have all made their way to the Market in different shapes and sizes, but not everyone is a casual gamer. Consolidating your gaming device and phone to one device is a brilliant idea, but as is, the controls for gaming on a primarily touch device just aren't up to par. They're more frustrating than it's worth, for the most part. One man took matters into his own hands and decided to turn his Epic 4G keyboard into a gaming keypad, and it seemed to work well for him.

Sony's solution is to fuse the PSP Go and one of their Sony Ericsson devices and allow for real gaming control with dedicated buttons, touch, analog-directional pads, and even a game store of their own (rumored Sony Marketplace). This will take mobile gaming to a entirely different level. It's genius, really. I'm not exactly sure other manufacturers will be scrambling to try to compete with them for now, but it may be likely down the road.

The first major change we may see for the platform is serious developers like EA, Ubisoft, THQ, and other serious game providers making a move to the mobile world. Games may start to move from simple, arcade-style games to actual in-depth, storyline games with actual intriguing gameplay. Essentially what I'm saying is, Sony is bridging the gap between console gaming and mobile (phone) gaming. We will likely see higher-quality games making their way to the Market, though they may be specific to the PlayStation phone or hardware-capable devices. This could potentially be a great thing for Android on the consumer side of things.

On the other hand, Sony using their gaming roots to take Android gaming to the next level could actually have some adverse effects for the platform as a whole. Right now, it's a fairly enterprise-friendly platform, aimed at a very wide range of demographics. If the platform takes a turn for the gaming-centric, people may begin to take it as less of a serious solution. Android could miss out on some important business/enterprise opportunities, and consumers may see less focus on the ever-increasing functionality of the flexible OS. I bought an iPad mainly for work and school and while I use it for those purposes, I find myself using it for games more than anything. Social applications and games are already distraction enough, all we need in the mobile world is a serious gaming platform to deflate our motivation to work and give Android a different face.

Take RIM for instance. They established themselves as an enterprise-focused company providing solutions for businesses. They have tried for two years now to push their devices into the consumer world and somewhat failed, more so now than before. People see BlackBerry as a business tool, not a social too, which it is very good at too. Android is still in its youth and hasn't exactly established “what” it is quite yet. Tablet OS? Maybe. Phone OS? Definitely. Netbook OS? Potentially. Gaming platform? In every way possible. If Sony turns the tide, the rapidly growing mobile giant, Android, could be taking on a larger change than we could imagine.

Is the PlayStation phone a good or bad thing for the platform? Let me know in the comments.