Microsoft has its Xbox Live integration in Windows Phone 7, but it was only a matter of time before its competitors in the console market strike back to ensure that Microsoft does not retain exclusive dibs on the console-smartphone service integration. And this time, it is Sony which has fired the next salvo with its Official PlayStation App, which will target Android and…wait for it, iOS.
Everybody has been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Sony’s rumored PlayStation smartphone, a device which, when released, will effectively put a serious dent in Apple’s aim of usurping the handheld gaming market due to its powerful brand recognition. But until consumers can actually get their hands on such a device, leaving fans to wait for a release date which has yet to be announced is not the best way to sway public opinion over to one’s side.
And Sony apparently knows that as well. Since it has not yet been able to deliver a full-fledged “PlayStation phone”, the next best thing to satisfy fans is to announce the development of an app which will allow users to access the popular PlayStation Network service via their smartphones.
Just like how Xbox Live works in Windows Phone 7, the official PlayStation App from Sony will allow users to view (and show off) their accomplishments and Trophies to friends, receive news about the latest PlayStation games and network with friends via a variety of social networking services such as Facebook, Twitter or even through good old-fashioned email. There will be no gameplay capabilities through the app, but this is to be expected considering that Microsoft is still in the midst of hammering out smartphone-console multiplayer on its Xbox Live service.
The app will be freely available for download: however, no information about its release data has been issued. However, what we do know is that the app is currently being developed by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE), so it goes without saying that SCEE countries will get first dibs on the app. UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and The Netherlands have been confirmed to be the first of the European countries to receive the pilot version of the software. Whether Japan or other parts of the world will ever receive the app remains to be seen.
Oh, and one last thing: the app is only available for smartphones running on either the iOS 4 or Android (v1.6 and later) operating systems. This means that users of Windows Phone 7 handsets are not going to get much love from Sony as far as access to the PlayStation Network is concerned. But then again, one big reason those people went for Microsoft’s mobile OS was simply because they already have an Xbox 360 with a working Xbox Live subscription, right?
Reference: CNET Japan