playstationmobileRelease:October 3, 2012 - PlayStation Vita, Mobile (EU/JP/US)
Delisting:September 10, 2015
(Available For: 2y 11m)
Developer:Sony
Publisher:Sony
Available On:None
Links:PlayStation Mobile Homepage, Sony Japan PSM Site [Archive]

Delisting

PlayStation Mobile was an online software marketplace available to “PlayStation Certified” devices. After nearly a year in private and open beta testing PlayStation Mobile was officially launched in select North American, European and Asian territories on October 3rd, 2012.The concept was to “deliver PlayStation content to open operating system-based, portable devices”. The flagship devices were the PlayStation Vita, Sony Ericsson Xperia Play and later, the PlayStation TV. A selection of Android tablets and handsets from HTC, Sharp, Wikipad, Alcatel and Fujitsu were also certified.

In May of 2013 — less than a year after launch — Sony waived the $99 publishing fee to encourage development on the platform. With a spiraling investment to keep up with Android development and minimal public interest in 2014, Sony limited support to the Vita and PlayStation TV with a 2.0 update. On May 30th, 2015 Sony announced that the PlayStation Mobile platform would cease distribution of new content as of July 15th. Purchases of existing content and the re-download of previously purchased content was disabled on September 10th along with the “PlayStation Mobile for Android” platform. Software that was not launched on an activated and updated device by February 29th, 2016 is no longer accessible. The menu option for PlayStation Mobile remained active in the Vita’s PlayStation Store app until the release of firmware version 3.52 on June 23rd, 2015.

The Software

At E3 in 2012 Sony announced that 56 companies were working on content for PlayStation Mobile and that by August of 2013 over 100 games were available for it. PlayStation Mobile sorted games into various genres and also offered utility applications. There were unofficial Instagram and tumblr apps, proprietary online chat clients, calculators and QR code readers, weather apps, dice rollers and an unofficial Magic: The Gathering companion, among many others.

Sony Europe and Sony Japan both created exclusive titles for the platform including Beats Slider, Beats Trellis, Passing Time, Tokyo Jungle Mobile, Yu-Nama: The Puzzle and Everybody’s Arcade. Other noteworthy exclusives included Oh, Deer! Alpha from Necrosoft, one of the last releases on the platform, Behind You, Dodgecube, Bullion Blitz and Tuffy the Corgi and the Tower of Bones. An interesting string of releases from HAMSTER were the Appli Archives bringing dozens of (untranslated) early cellphone games from SNK, Nippon Ichi, Jaleco and other Japanese studios back to life.

Familiar titles and franchises that got their start on PlayStation Mobile or made an appearance on the platform include:

  • Bike Rider DX (Spicysoft)
  • Boot Hill Heroes (Experimental Gamer)
  • Eufloria Adventures (Omni Systems)
  • Chaos Rings (Square Enix)
  • Gunhouse (Necrosoft)
  • Hill Cliff Horse and Raptor RPG (Stephen Allen)
  • Aqua Kitty (Tikipod)
  • OMG Zombies! (Laughing Jackal)
  • The “Quiet, Please!” Series (Nostatic)
  • Rymdkapsel (Webfarbror)

For more on the lineup and release schedule of PlayStation Mobile software see the following resources:

Our Video Coverage

From August through November of 2014 I routinely recorded updates on the PlayStation Mobile marketplace. While I support the distribution of all games on any platform I wound up spending most of my time poking fun at the poorly translated game descriptions, endless Flappy Bird clones and questionable apps. It did wind up preserving a glimpse at how PlayStation Mobile worked, though, and I went on to record two farewell videos recapping some of my experiences with the platform.