Released in 2012, PlayStation Mobile was Sony's way of capitalizing on the rising popularity of mobile gaming. It was a software framework that allowed PlayStation content to be downloaded on PlayStation consoles and PlayStation Certified devices including the PlayStation Vita, PlayStation TV, Sony's line of Xperia smartphones and some HTC One handsets.
Popular PlayStation Mobile titles include Lemmings, Alien Breed and Super Crate Box but even with the examples set by these games, few developers ever signed up to the service. The lack of PlayStation Certified devices is the most likely cause of that as HTC, Fujitsu, Sharp and ASUS were the only big names to support the initiative. Even though Sony axed the $99 sign up fee in 2013, it had a hard time convincing developers to release their games through PlayStation Certified when they could have just as easily released their games through the Apple App Store for the same price.
Meanwhile, PlayStation Mobile 2.0 was released in 2014 but it only supported the aforementioned PlayStation Vita and PlayStation TV. With that in mind, it's no surprise that Sony has now officially announced plans to shutter PlayStation Mobile. The PlayStation Mobile storefront will be closed down on July 15 while the service as a whole will be closed in September.
Sony has explained that, as part of the shut down, no new PlayStation Mobile games will be released – meaning that users will be unable to purchase new PlayStation Mobile content (including in-game purchases) and players will also be unable to redownload any PlayStation Mobile games that they have previously bought. This means that if users want to keep their games, they will have to activate their devices using the following instructions from Sony:
- Go to [Settings] > [PSN℠] > [System Activation] > [PlayStation Mobile] > [Activate] > [OK].
- For PlayStation®Certified device users: You will need to open up the PSM app and launch any purchased PSM content between April 10, 2015 and September 10, 2015*3 to complete the content authentication process.
- Please ensure that you have downloaded all of the games that you want to keep. After September 10, 2015, you will not be able to re-download your purchased content.
- Devices that are not authenticated prior to September 10, 2015 will be unable to access previously purchased PSM content after that date.
The decision to close PlayStation Mobile will be disappointing for those who had hoped the platform would help to ease PS Vita's lack of content, but (from Sony's point of view) the shut down makes perfect business sense. Since it was revealed earlier this year that Sony will face a loss of over $1 billion by the time this financial year ends on March 31 – and Sony's smartphone sector is responsible for a large chunk of that – closing down this service could save the company some money.
Are you sad to see PlayStation Mobile go? Do you think shutting it down is a good idea?