Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sony's Gaming Tablet

This sketch purports to show how Sony's tablet might look, but I don't really get it.
Sony's really stepping up their game, after spending the last few years trying to revamp the corporate structure. We'll get to see just how successful this effort is in the next year or two. Apparently they have decided to cover all their bets in the gaming hardware category. They've got the PS3, so the game console spot is covered. The PSP has really done very well, but more in Japan than in the USA, and it's time for a new handheld gaming device if they expect to get revenue from that market. So the NGP is scheduled for shipment later this year, and it seems like a very powerful handheld gaming device.

Perhaps surprisingly, Sony has said they will also keep the PSP around, too, perhaps to keep the lower-priced end of the market covered. That's really not such a bad idea, if they can keep software development going for it. I'd suggest revitalizing with an additional price reduction, and some new software to help it play music and video. Open up development more, and create a zippy online store for purchasing all sorts of content. If you can make it easy to develop and publish new PSP software, the device will keep selling.

Ah, but this strategy ignores the mobile phones, so what will Sony do about that? The Experia, also known as the Playstation Phone, is Sony Ericsson's entry there: A powerful Android phone with full access to the new Playstation Suite.

So what's left? Why, a dedicated Playstation Tablet... an Android device optimized for playing games. It would come preloaded with some Playstation games and Sony's Qriocity (music, games, and media on demand) service. No word on the specs yet, but you can probably bet on a dual-core processor and some nice graphics on a 9.4 inch screen.

The sketch shows an impression of how it might look... I guess that's the backside, showing a thick curve you can use to hold onto it more easily than a standard tablet. Be nice if that was a flexible cover... but we'll see when Sony gets more formal about the release. Right now, it's just being floated to get some initial response.

I believe tablets are going to be a huge market segment, so there should certainly be room for one optimized for gaming, if the price is right. Ah, the price... the ugly reality that can shatter dreams. Let's hope Sony comes up with a good price point.

Once again, game developers may have yet another platform to develop for...

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