By Jared Newman | Wednesday, August 19, 2009 at 5:29 pm
Sony continues to insist that it’s not competing with the iPhone on gaming, even though the opposite is increasingly becoming true.
Tucked into Sony’s impressively newsworthy GamesCom press conference yesterday was an announcement for “PSP Minis,” a line of low-price, small-scale video games aimed at the upcoming PSP Go handheld. The list of planned games, including Air Hockey, Bowling and Pac-Man Championship Edition, sound a lot like what you’d find in the iPhone’s App Store.
This is a major about-face for Sony. In March, the company’s marketing VP Peter Dille derided the iPhone as a “separate business” that hosts “largely diversionary” games. He further explained that Sony is a gaming company that makes handheld games with 20-hour experiences. I guess Sony realized there’s also room for cheap and simple.
Still, the company won’t admit that it’s taking Apple on with PSP Minis. Here’s Gamasutra’s Leigh Alexander on follow-up with Playstation Network operations director Eric Lempel, who says Sony isn’t after Apple’s market share.
“It’s totally different,” Lempel told Gamasutra. “… It’s not open to users; these are professional developers, it’s not like what you’re seeing on that other platform.”
Someone needs to remind Sony’s handlers that “competition” doesn’t mean “approaching the market in the exact same way, warts and all.” This should be an opportunity for Sony to say “Yes, we are competing with Apple for handheld gamers’ money, and here’s how we’re going to take it.” Instead, Lempel seems unwilling to confront the truth head-on.