Space Ramblings

Sony, Always Late to the Party

Hey, you know what Sony should make? A smartphone that plays games. Like 5 years ago. But never fear, Sony is making one of those things now. Also an iPad. Yes an iPad, except with a different name that’s likely to end up being a giant PSP. With Apple and Creative’s dominance of the MP3 player market, it’s hard to remember that there was a time when a Sony brand had become as eponymous for portable music players, as Google is to looking things up on the internet or Xerox was to making photocopies.

But today a Sony MP3 player means a wildly overpriced and underfunctional device. And Sony’s new line is likely to face the same exact problems. Because Sony doesn’t seem to have adapted to the new world order in which the internet comes first and in which interfaces come second (or is it the other way around?). Sony may be belatedly expanding its PSP core into something more meaningful, but the problem is that it should have done it years ago, and beaten the iTouch to the punch. Instead it’s once again playing catch up, and the results of the catch up will be to turn out a device that is very expensive and less functional than the competition.

Still Sony should have a reasonable shot at the mobile gaming marketplace. Trying to play actual games on the iPhone is a miserable experience, no matter what Steve Jobs may insist. And Sony is the only mobile marketplace player with a background in making and serving as a platform for hit games. Yet Sony still hasn’t been able to get its act together, which suggests it never will.

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