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Should Sony Team With Google On a PlayStation Phone? 182

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-can-only-imagine-the-ensuing-jailbreak-feedback-loop dept.
donniebaseball23 writes "The PSP2 is already in the hands of developers, but will Sony take the right direction in the portable sector? Following a recent op-ed on fixing the PSP business, leading game industry analysts came to the consensus that the best avenue for Sony to take is to offer a PlayStation Phone, and a strong partner like Google would do just the trick. 'Sony has the opportunity to redefine the portable games category. I think the best move would be to get out in front of Microsoft's inevitable Xbox LIVE Arcade Mobile and take on the App Store and carrier deck portals. ... They could put out a proper PlayStation Phone (and a PlayStation Pad) but these should compete with smartphones and tablets, not dedicated gaming devices. To do this quickly, Sony could partner with Google and take advantage of Android's considerable momentum,' said Billy Pidgeon of M2 Research."
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Should Sony Team With Google On a PlayStation Phone?

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  • No because Sony's stance clashes with Google's stance. Sony is all about control. Control. Control. Heck, Sony had a firmware update to break third party controllers not to mention Sony's recent moves of removing features.

    Sony wants nothing more than control. Google wants open phones. The two clash in many ways.
    • by sznupi (719324)

      Must why SE is focusing on Android now.

    • by CompMD (522020)

      "Sony wants nothing more than control. Google wants open phones. The two clash in many ways."

      However, SonyEricsson has one of the largest teams of people dedicated to both Android platform and tool development. This team openly contributes a significant amount of work back to the Android Open Source Project.

  • No fixing needed! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JDeane (1402533) on Monday October 11, 2010 @09:00PM (#33865406) Journal

    Yes add more features surely playing movies music and games was not enough!!! They needed more features so they could outsell the DS!!!

    The DS didn't win because it had features..... it didn't win because it had better graphics.... it won because it had more fun games to play and a bigger variety of games to pick from. Pesky consumers and there desire for choices!!!!

    Sony just does not have the developer support for 2 systems, I suspect they would be better served by focusing on one or the other.

    • by neokushan (932374)

      Sony doesn't have the developer support?
      Rewind back to the launch of the DS - Nintendo had the gamecube, Sony had the PS2 - which of those do you think had more developer support? The PS2 had hundreds more developers releasing titles on it than the Gamecube ever had.

      Sure, that has pretty much reversed itself these days when you compare the PS3 to the Wii and DSi/3DS, but what's to say that with a successful product launch, the same couldn't happen again?

    • Sony just does not have the developer support for 2 systems, I suspect they would be better served by focusing on one or the other.

      It's not necessary to split the developers. A PSPhone could just be android with a PSP2 app. Sure, it would need to have somewhat higher specs to run the background phone processes while gaming, but the subsidies from 2 year contracts could hide those costs (much in the same way the iPhone does).

      Since Sony has a cell phone devision, already produces several android devices, and from a CPU/GPU standpoint the PSP2 is probably comparable to a high end android phone, I think Sony would be, frankly, foolish not

  • Battery (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gmuslera (3436) on Monday October 11, 2010 @09:04PM (#33865444) Homepage Journal
    Large screen + cpu chewing apps is no good for something that meant to work unplugged at least close to a work day. In the N900 with the game gripper you already have a not so bad gaming console/smart phone, where you can play playstation/n64/mame/native games, but battery life wiill be pretty bad.
    • On the other hand, it seems to me that a phone with a spare battery in your pocket is still smaller than a phone + a Gameboy or PSP.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 11, 2010 @09:05PM (#33865446)

    Sony frankly doesn't have a good track record with hardware in general. The hardware tends to be quirky, and after-sales support poor -- my friend had a Sony DVD player that *specifically* advertised firmware upgradeability on the box, it was very buggy.. no firmware updates ever came out for it, Sony's solution was to just buy the next model. They've done the same thing with other products.

                Sony also LOVES closed systems, the antithesis of Android. They've done stuff like take a generic off-the-shelf DVD or CD drive, and put their own firmware in it, actually introducing bugs compared to the stock firmware while adding no features; some Vaios have fingerprint readers that WOULD be standard and work with generic Linux drivers, except Sony put custom firmware in so it ONLY works with Sony's (Windows-based) software. This also is something they've done again and again.

              Would I buy a Sony phone? Hell no.

    • Sony frankly doesn't have a good track record with hardware in general. The hardware tends to be quirky, and after-sales support poor

      Wait, what? I'd say the best thing Sony's got going for them is the reliability of their hardware, and their no-fuss attitude to after-sales support, but maybe that's my experience (in 3 countries outside the US). Hell, my PS1 still does duty as a solid CD player in a friend's den, and my dad's Sony music system from 1993 only crapped out earlier this year. Hardware they can do, software not so much.

      • I notice your anecdotal evidence lacks more recent examples of Sony hardware.

      • by N0Man74 (1620447)

        I'll see your anecdotal evidence of Sony's reliability, and raise you my anecdotal evidence!

        I no longer have any working Sony hardware. Every Sony product I have owned has died on me (long enough to last through warranties, but not by a lot...)

        I also used to work in retail management for a video game store chain that dealt quite a bit with used games and systems during the last generation of consoles. I'd estimate that of the number of systems that people who brought in their used systems to trade in, I'd

        • by jonwil (467024)

          To add to this evidence, I own a Sony CyberShot digital camera. Worst purchase I ever made, never worked very good (and it doesnt even have an Optical Zoom).

          Replaced it with a Canon Ixus and am much happier.

    • Google can skirt around their "Don't Be Evil" motto, by taking on an evil partner like Sony that can do the dirty work while letting Google keep their hands clean! ;-)

    • What the hell are you talking about? Sony has never had as many problems with hardware as (for example), Microsoft. Sony is a hardware company, and as such has always done a great job of slowly improving their hardware processes (look at the over 10 generations of PS2). Sony also tends toward open standards, like USB (without locks), Firewire, HDMI, etc. The PS3 uses no proprietary external connectors, and the original (which I own) has memory card support for CompactFlash not just Memory Stick.

      The PS3

  • by CrazyJim1 (809850) on Monday October 11, 2010 @09:05PM (#33865454) Journal
    The reason I'm not porting my soon to be released Flash game on iPhone or Android is that the processing power is too low. If there was a serious chip in these phones, higher quality games can be made. I'm thinking in the future many high quality games will be made in Flash.
  • by Astronomerguy (1541977) on Monday October 11, 2010 @09:14PM (#33865506)
    That's a marriage that will never happen. Sony is all about control, and that focus on control precludes third parties and regard for what Sony's users want. See: removal of PS2 compatibility on the PS3, removal of "OtherOS" on the PS3, blocking of third-party controllers on the PS3 etc. ad nauseum. Sony wants absolute control of the eco system, but they don't get it like Apple and even Google/Android does in regards to applications and features. Hell, even Microsoft lets anyone write apps for the Windows platform. Until Sony 1.) merges the PSP into a smartphone platform; 2.) loosens their control or at least modifies it in regards to applications and monetizing their platform, and 3.) opens up to partnering with companies that understand how to work with user's needs and wants, they're dead in the water. I speak as a PS3 owner who uses his PS3 95% for streaming media to the entertainment centre, as an owner of a PSP 3000 who uses it primarily for watching movies and documentaries while traveling as well as running old console games in emulation, and I have a PSP Go that I won at a vendor event (a lucky colleague won a 32Gb iTouch AND an Xbox slim! I got the shitty end of that deal).
    • Sony wants absolute control of the eco system, but they don't get it like Apple

      Say what?! Say what you like about Sony, but don't claim that Apple doesn't want or already exercise a great degree of control.

      Until Sony 1.) merges the PSP into a smartphone platform; 2.) loosens their control or at least modifies it in regards to applications and monetizing their platform, and 3.) opens up to partnering with companies that understand how to work with user's needs and wants, they're dead in the water.

      Uh, isn't that exactly what is being suggested here? Merging with Android, and partnering with Google (who I presume you view as more in touch with advertis-- user needs and wants)?

    • The Sony/Google thing is pretty much moot because Sony Ericsson already make Android phones.

      The real question is, can Sony Ericsson (a joint venture) work with Sony Computer Entertainment (a separate Sony department) in order to make such a product work? I seriously doubt it. It involves merging the work of two completely separate streams of product development and discarding a lot of work where the two overlap, and everybody involved is going to get their knickers in a twist about it.

    • Sony already makes Android devices. Get over it.

      Name me another game company that offered a Linux option on two of its consoles so far at all?

      Thanks. End story.

  • Short answer: No (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SplashMyBandit (1543257) on Monday October 11, 2010 @09:21PM (#33865558)
    These companies have different DNA:
    Sony's instinct is to use proprietary formats and lock stuff down. I bought a PS3, but psbuntu on it and intended programming it. Couldn't do anything could since Sony locked me out. I learned my lesson not to use their stuff.

    Google on the other hand are the opposite. They are pretty open with their technologies and using them is a joy in comparison. While there are restrictions on some stuff (Map API) the rest of it can pretty much be used as you wish and for no cost.

    These two collaborating would probably work as well as a marriage between a neurotic, secretive but immaculately coiffured woman and a hippy.
  • No. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kurokame (1764228) on Monday October 11, 2010 @09:36PM (#33865630)
    • That's a dumb product idea that doesn't sufficiently account for the present market.
    • Sony and Google have conflicting corporate philosophies and deal in conflicting markets.
    • With Sony in the game, there'd just be a firmware update later which removed the ability to make calls.
      • Sony and Google have conflicting corporate philosophies and deal in conflicting markets.

      Wait, where do Google & Sony compete at the moment, exactly?

      Sony's already got an Android handset or two, by the way.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      # That's a dumb product idea that doesn't sufficiently account for the present market.

      Yes, this is very correct. I've talked about the PSP with a lot of people (I have one, I like it). Not one of them said "well, if there were a phone in there, I'd buy it". People who want gaming machines, want gaming machines, not phones. There is a market for games on the iPhone, but that's not why people buy them.

      What matters with games is having a strong library to pick from, and feeling like you're getting a good v

  • Google would make Android part of the deal, and it's apparent that Sony wants nothing to do with Linux.

    • by lxt (724570)
      My Bravia TV running Linux says you're wrong. Sony want nothing to do with an *open* implementation of Linux. They use Linux all the time as an embedded OS on their own products.
  • by dirkdodgers (1642627) on Monday October 11, 2010 @09:57PM (#33865728)

    Google phone: Failure
    Sony PSP: Marketshare loser

    But what if we combined them?!

    Why, we'd have a Nokia N-Gage gaming phone. Brilliant.

    Hey clueless analysts, 2003 called and they want their shitty ideas back.

    • I hate the attitude that the Nexus One was a failure. They made a phone for Google employees that they also made available to the public. They didn't want to sell millions of them. If they wanted to they would have sold it just about everywhere, but they didn't. They sold it only on a special web site where you'd have to know about it to even find it. They don't want to support a millions of high end cell phones in the hands of the idiot masses. That they leave to their cell phone partners.

      If anything the N

    • Google phone: Failure
      Sony PSP: Marketshare loser

      But what if we combined them?!

      Why, we'd have a Nokia N-Gage gaming phone. Brilliant.

      Hey clueless analysts, 2003 called and they want their shitty ideas back.

      The N-Gage failed because it was designed by fools (sorry Nokia fans, but this device was a real turd). You can't have a gaming platform that requires you to remove the battery to change games. You also can't have a cell phone that makes you look like an idiot if you make calls. It was a failure of design that would be hard to reproduce without trying.

      A PSP Go is already superior in almost every way. It already can make calls through Skype, it already has wireless game downloads so you don't even have to us

  • by khchung (462899) on Monday October 11, 2010 @10:04PM (#33865758) Journal

    What's this? Would you call Microsoft a strong PC maker? Google just provide the OS, they are a NON-PLAYER in the mobile market, both in terms of name brand recognition and manufacturing/distribution capability. Partnering with HTC or Nokia (while still not have much sense) would make more sense than picking Google.

    This is pure Google fanboy wishful thinking.

    An Android that plays PSP Games? It need to be so locked down for Sony to accept, that you would not be able to run any non-Sony approved Android apps, that it make no sense to buy one.

    With Google's lack of emphasis on user experience, Sony will need to make major changes to the UI that you would not recognize it is an Android device anyway.

    This whole idea makes no sense at all.

    • Eh? I think the implication is that Google provides the OS layer, not the hardware layer. Sony's got the hardware side fairly well covered, I'd say. In that instance, HTC and Nokia make no sense.

    • by duranaki (776224)
      Yeah really.. they should partner with a big cell phone maker like Ericsson. Oh wait...
  • by Snaller (147050)

    It might be a good idea for them, but Google should clearly say no. Sony are a bunch of closed sourced bastards who have no idea of how to please the market (and to those who say they are making a mint - sure - but they could make even more if they opened their minds)

  • They never have, and I don't think they ever will. True collaboration with google/android is therefore not possible.

    Look at the PS3. Could one imagine a sorrier excuse for an online store or game community? They never took online gaming seriously. Whereas msft built in standardized online/community functionality, Sony left it to each developer. Integration with the online store is an after thought and is truly crude.

    With their phones and android they trashed most of what was inherent to the os and replaced

  • Well, seeing as they couldn't keep the first PSP closed to hackers, what makes them think they will keep a Droid based one better protected.
    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Well, seeing as they couldn't keep the first PSP closed to hackers, what makes them think they will keep a Droid based one better protected.

      But later PSPs are now pretty tightly locked. After all, what ever happened to that PSP Go hack? It's completely useless right now, but have CFW and it could be a great way to play PSP games in a smaller formfactor.

      Anyhow, Sony would either put out a locked down Android that's bacially only connected to the PSN store only, and attempts to root it would be met with firm

  • Yes (Score:3, Informative)

    by codepunk (167897) on Monday October 11, 2010 @11:22PM (#33866138)

    Yes, and everything should be programmed to run on the Dalvik jvm so it can achieve a blistering 5 fps.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Sockatume (732728)

      Devs have been able to directly address the graphics hardware for some time now. You've seen Google Earth running on Android, no?

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        You've seen Google Earth running on Android, no?

        I haven't actually, is it in the Market?

  • Sony Ericsson has recently moved to only use android in their smartphones, and apparently they are already considering mixing PSP and android 3.0 (gingerbread) [engadget.com].
  • Gonna be hard for Google to 'do no evil' if they partner with SONY. There aren't a lot of tech companies with the evil track record that SONY has.
  • Jeez! So, according to the collective "wisdom" of Slashdot:

    No company should release anything, ever.
    Nor should they try anything new, ever.
    Nor should they be allowed to learn from their mistakes.
    Nor should they spot a weakness in their DNA and get another company on-board to help address it.

    Oh, and everything, every company has ever done has also been shit!

    Cheers commenters one and all (apologies to anyone who made a positive contribution here). My PSP has provided years of fun on trains,
  • So if I want to game on a platform, I have to buy a specific phone for an asston of money only for an inferior product? Excellent job removing 30% of your potential customers. There's a reason all printers aren't all-in-ones and shampoo and conditioner still beat 2-in-1s: they suck.

    I wonder what world these marketoids live on, this crap reminds me of hollywood.

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