It’s all about gaming this week, and the way that it interacts with the mobile devices we all know and love, thanks to E3 going on in California right now. Which is why it isn’t a surprise that we saw an official announcement regarding Sony’s next step in the mobile industry, putting a bigger focus on making it possible for people who don’t own Sony-branded devices use their products. Or, more specifically, play their games.

The PlayStation Phone has come and gone, more or less. When the XPERIA Play launched back in the day, the possibilities seemed pretty endless. After all, it was the first mobile device of its generation to launch not with a dedicated hardware keyboard, but with a dedicated gamepad instead. You slid the display up, and boom, you had yourself a D-pad and some buttons.

Unfortunately, though, the whole experience wasn’t the best, and the potential was marred by execution.

The idea, though, is still fantastic. There’s no doubt that people who own smartphones also like to at least dabble in gaming on their device. Whether you’re a hardcore or casual gamer, there’s probably at least one game on your device that you play from time to time. Unless you’re like Taylor, that is.

In any event, gaming on our smartphones has exploded, and it isn’t slowing down. Not surprising, Sony wants to make sure that they capitalize on that any way that they can. While sales of the XPERIA Play may not have been that great, even when it launched later on AT&T’s network, any sales were better than none. Except Sony learned pretty quickly that something had to change, that they had to think outside the box if they were going to really make any kind of impact in the way that they wanted to.

And now we’re looking at the results of that, in PlayStation Mobile. We had heard rumors in the past that this was going to happen, and we had heard rumors suggesting that HTC would be on board the new idea right out of the gate. Those rumors turned out to be true, and now HTC is labeled as a partner in this new endeavor from Sony.

No new devices were announced. Actually, no real details were provided quite yet. It’s still a big mystery as to how HTC will play with this new option. Will HTC create dedicated phones with hardware gaming features? Or, as some are speculating, does this just mean that HTC-branded devices will be able to play PlayStation Certified games?

It’s an interesting situation. There are several “suggestions” as to why the XPERIA Play didn’t fare all that well out in the real world, ranging from software to the hardware itself, so HTC and Sony need to make some decisions. In the announcement, the HTC One X was used as an example device, and that could go to show just what is being planned. PlayStation Certified games running on your high-end Android device, no physical controls needed.

I think this is short-sighted, because that’s essentially the same thing that’s already happening in the Google Play Store now. Games run on device all the time. Just giving HTC the “I can play PlayStation games!” title doesn’t count for much if it doesn’t get differentiated from the rest of the Android crowd in some other fashion.

That’s why I think they need to create another “PlayStation Phone.” HTC hardware, HTC’s Android-skinned software, and a focus on bringing top-tier PlayStation games to the device, optimized to work near flawlessly. Just giving HTC devices a first-run at some PlayStation games isn’t good enough, either.

I think they need to focus on hardware, and make a PlayStation Phone that is actually worthwhile and eye-catching. What do you think? Would you even consider buying a PlayStation Phone? Let me know!

image via Joystiq


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