It’s a sad day indeed for mobile gamers as Sony has announced that they will not be supporting anymore the PlayStation Mobile app for Android devices that are running the latest versions. This is probably part of their move to strengthen their gaming handheld devices, particularly the PS Vita and others like it, instead of allowing those with smartphones to access the games.
It was mostly indie Playstation games that benefitted from the PS Mobile app, which is more of a framework to let Android users to download and play games on their gadgets. Sony was still pushing it late last year, adding 8 more countries last December 2013 to those who had access to the app. However, it probably seemed too good to be true (or to costly to their handheld sales) and so the announcement is not really too surprising, although it will indeed affect the indie game development community.
This doesn’t mean however that Sony is totally abandoning this publishing framework. Instead, they will still continue to encourage development of games from the community, and of course at the same time trying to catch the gamers’ attention, but this time focusing on PS Vita and their other handheld devices. Even the Xperia handsets that were “PlayStation Certified” will eventually lose the ability to use the PSM app as well.
But it will not be an immediate pullout of course. Devices that are running on Android 4.2 can still continue enjoying the PSM (until when though is still not sure). Those who are already on 4.3 and 4.4 will still be able to access the gaming store and redownload games that they’ve already purchased, but it also depends on the device manufacturer and the game developer itself. But for the upcoming Android L 4.5 or 5.0, games already installed may not work properly, and it will not be supported anymore, as well as no access to the store and for redownloading. Time will tell if this is a smart or foolish move for Sony and if it will affect sales of their gaming handhelds, for better or worse.