Sony’s PlayStation division just celebrated a major milestone just days ago: 20 million PlayStation 4 consoles sold worldwide. The milestone marks the most successful PlayStation console offered, due to the quickness of reaching 20 million units sold. Microsoft’s Xbox One console has not released unit sales since November, when it reached 10 million units sold. Xbox One has struggled to compete with the PlayStation 4 after various bugs and issues that occurred right after the release of the new console. However, PlayStation may be riding high right now, but Sony executives detailed today that changes are coming to the valuable division.
Struggling PlayStation Mobile store never really took off
When Sony ventured into the handheld market with PlayStation’s PSP and Vita, they created a mobile store called PlayStation Mobile in 2012. Gamers could shop the online store to buy games and content for their devices. Sony even made the store compatible with Android based smartphones, hoping that Android users would be enticed by a PlayStation store in addition to Google Play. Unfortunately, the experiment never amounted to anything. The company no longer offered services to Android, which stopped in August 2014. Additionally, the entire PlayStation Mobile site will stop publishing content July 15, 2015 and will close down all together on September 10, 2015. Gamers will still be able to retrieve their downloads after July 15th, but will be required to go through the activation login process. Downloads of past purchases and new purchases alike will no longer be able to be downloaded from site after September 10th. Last month, Sony detailed that it would cut 2,100 jobs in its mobile gaming/phone division, including 1,000 mobile jobs in Lund, Sweden.
Handheld gaming could not compete with free games from app stores
It is not difficult to figure out why PlayStation’s move into handheld market was not successful. PS Vita, which has been out awhile, still commands a $139.99 price tag for a used model at GameStop. New games cost around $40, plus all the accessories and memory cards, etc. After adding all of this up, you are looking at a minimum of $200 to be up and running with games and everything you need. Whereas, smartphone users just simply log in to their app store and can download a game for free. The fact of the matter is that people will pay large sums for their phones because of its wide range of usability and features. PS Vita is expensive and was not all that different from playing app games, otherwise why would Sony be shutting the program down?
Overall, Sony’s PlayStation division continues to be immensely popular and successful. With the PlayStation 4 officially going on sale in China on March 20th, Sony could get another boost in unit sales. As for PlayStation Mobile, it was a good idea and experiment that just simply did not work out.