Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Farewell PlayStation Mobile, you crazy mixed-up kid

PlayStation Mobile (PSM) bites the bullet later today (or whenever Sony finally decides to pull the plug). If you have time, go have a quick peek at some of the insanely amateurish (dong), some insanely cheap and brilliant (A Healer Only Lives Twice), and some quite high profile (Final Fantasy Chaos Rings) titles on the pages.

Here's my list of must haves and free games to pick up, but for now it is time to wave goodbye to Sony's cockamamie idea of an indie service. I suppose it made sense a few years ago, as an easy way to get games that were headed to Andoid on the Vita, and to appeal to new developers.

Clearly it never took off in a big way, but like the PlayStation Minis program, it helped bring some decent games to the Vita (Life of Pixel probably being my favourite), so we should be grateful for that. It also gave us access to a load of Japanese and other foreign indies that we would otherwise have never got a look at thanks to Sony's stupidly region limited main PSN store.

However, then Sony cut off the Android comparability feature, for reasons known only to the loons at HQ. And now the whole service will shuffle off into the night, neatly bookended by the bright and positive launch heralded by FuturLab and TikiPod titles and ending with the blissful carnage of Necrosoft's Oh Deer!

At least Sony has given plenty of warning, so if you did buy some of the more expensive games you've had time to download them. Yes, there's some crap in there with a few one-star ratings, but with plenty of quirky, fun, and serious games across many genres. Is it really worth killing the idea stone dead?

With no search and limited discovery features, yes the store was a mess, which is all Sony's fault, and the lack of love and promotion lies firmly with Sony. Such a shame, after they had got the scheme moving with what was quite a big push at the time.

Hopefully some of the better games will come to native Vita, with trophies and a bit more polish, but while you can, there's plenty of free, or below a £/$/€ games well worth picking up.

Finally, a big congratulations to any developer or home coder who got their game up on PSM, it may not have been the success you were hoping for, but hopefully it was the start of something great for you.

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