David Hilton, head of Sony Ericsson’s UK marketing believes that the company’s upcoming Xperia Play will fill the void between casual and hardcore gamers, around 9 million of them, according to Hilton. How it will do this is down to the system’s built in controller that Hilton argues will give the Smartphone gamer an experience similar to home consoles. And he claims that this is just what they want.
Speaking with MCV (via CVG), Hilton reveals the tactic Sony are implementing in order to beat the Xperia’s rival, the iPhone: “The main thing is to offer something different. iPhone is a hugely popular product and Angry Birds on iPhone is a delight. But now the hardware allows you to play far more complex games. You don’t want to be playing these with your fingers all over the screen. You want full visibility and the ability to control the games with the sort of interfaces you have on your games console.”
It’s true, rubbing your finger or fingers over the screen is problem that Smartphones in general face, not just the iPhone and is something that can become quite off putting. But the best games or at least those which have the broadest appeal take controls into consideration – like the aforementioned Angry Birds. There’s definitely an allure to the Xperia Play which a lot of Smartphones simply lack because of the control pad and promise of classic PSone games along with potential integration of the PlayStation Store (thanks to the PlayStation Suite) however I’m not sure the complexity of mobile games will increase because of the Xperia Play’s existence. Nor would I imagine that gamers who do seriously want a grander experience wouldn’t opt instead for the NGP or 3DS. Both of those will offer games and a control scheme comparable to home consoles and they wouldn’t be reliant on Smartphone developers.
That’s not a dig at Smartphone developers though, there are phenomenal games on the Android and Apple marketplace. But because the majority of Android phones will not have a built in controller using the touchscreen instead, the complexity of a game’s controls can only go so far before the market begins to become fragmented. I like what Sony are trying though and am very intrigued by the Xperia Play but I’d still prefer to save up for a NGP than become an early adopter with the hope that more games I want will come to my yet unproven new Smartphone. However, if you see one going cheap, let me know! (I’m so fickle with gadgets!)