Sony hopes to counter smartphone games with free PlayStation Vita developer tools

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Hoping to counter a trend that's seen its portable devices struggling against competitors like Apple's iPhone, Sony on Wednesday announced that it would be removing barriers to publishing for independent developers by doing away with their licensing fees.



As of May 7, the Publisher License Fee for PlayStation Mobile has been waived, according to a post (via Kotaku) on the PlayStation Blog. Developers of all stripes no longer have to pay the $99 fee in order to get their games onto Sony's PlayStation Vita or any other PlayStation-certified device.

PS Vita owners will see developers' games available in the PlayStation Mobile section of the PlayStation Store, as will owners of PlayStation-certified devices (Sony's tablets and Xperia handsets, as well as a number of devices from Sharp, HTC, and Fujitsu). The move is likely aimed at halting or at least slowing the momentum that has seen developers increasingly interested in mobile platforms at the expense of traditional home and portable gaming consoles.

Sony's gaming rival, Nintendo, is also looking to court mobile game developers. On Monday, the gaming giant began offering kits to make it easier to port smartphone games to the Wii U in light of that console's low initial sales.

Previously, Sony dropped prices on its PS Vita in Japan. The portable console has seen disappointing sales as devices like the iPhone have proved a more attractive platform to consumers.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    If $99 is going to make or break your game development business, then I suspect that your game development business is NOT going to make or break Sony's platform. :p
  • Reply 2 of 14
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,980member
    nagromme wrote: »
    If $99 is going to make or break your game development business, then I suspect that your game development business is NOT going to make or break Sony's platform. :p

    Why not? It's done wonders for iOS. I know that Sony purposely makes it difficult to code for the PS3 but it looks like they went away from that tactic on the PS4. I wonder how it is for the Vita.
  • Reply 3 of 14
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,622member


    I remember so many times certain jerks on this forum chewing out Apple for charging $99 to become a bonafide Apple developer, yet no one raised one iota of anger at how Sony was screwing developers of its platform.  Literally, thousands of dollars per year to be a developer, had to have an actual, physical office space (not allowed to use develop from home) and other nonsense terms.



    I have zero sympathy for Sony.  Good riddance.

  • Reply 4 of 14
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,125member
    Free tools? Apple has free iOS dev tools (Xcode). They charge to actually use the App Store to upload the app, however. I think Sony is losing the war here.
  • Reply 5 of 14
    cash907cash907 Posts: 893member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post





    Why not? It's done wonders for iOS. I know that Sony purposely makes it difficult to code for the PS3 but it looks like they went away from that tactic on the PS4. I wonder how it is for the Vita.


     


    They didn't purposefully do anything of the sort. The PS3 is difficult to code for thanks to the idiosyncrasies of the Cell processor which powers that console. Sony thought the could release tools that would make the process easier, and developers would initially code for the PS3 and then port to the 360. In reality, developers did the exact opposite.

  • Reply 6 of 14
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,980member
    cash907 wrote: »
    They didn't purposefully do anything of the sort. The PS3 is difficult to code for thanks to the idiosyncrasies of the Cell processor which powers that console. Sony thought the could release tools that would make the process easier, and developers would initially code for the PS3 and then port to the 360. In reality, developers did the exact opposite.

    According to their CEO they did just that.
    We don't provide the 'easy to program for' console that (developers) want, because 'easy to program for' means that anybody will be able to take advantage of pretty much what the hardware can do, so then the question is, what do you do for the rest of the nine-and-a-half years? --Kaz Hirai, CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment

    But then again CEOs have a knack for saying things to fool the competition. It's a quite simple plan, as developers get better at programming so do the games thus extending the life of the console.
  • Reply 7 of 14
    jblongzjblongz Posts: 146member


    Sony, get with the program on mobile

  • Reply 8 of 14
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    The article says they were previously only $99, but was that per year like with the IOS Developer Program or was that per app, or per app submission (which includes each update), etc.? Did Sony take 30%? Where/Are there any other restrictions or issues that make it a less than advantageous for developers to allocate their time and resources?

    dasanman69 wrote: »
    nagromme wrote:
    If $99 is going to make or break your game development business, then I suspect that your game development business is NOT going to make or break Sony's platform.
    Why not? It's done wonders for iOS. I know that Sony purposely makes it difficult to code for the PS3 but it looks like they went away from that tactic on the PS4. I wonder how it is for the Vita.

    You lost me. Are you saying that Apple did away with developer fees?
  • Reply 9 of 14
    lord amhranlord amhran Posts: 902member
    sflocal wrote: »
    I have zero sympathy for Sony.  Good riddance.

    Sorry to break it to you sflocal but Sony's not going away anytime soon.
  • Reply 10 of 14
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,980member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    The article says they were previously only $99, but was that per year like with the IOS Developer Program or was that per app, or per app submission (which includes each update), etc.? Did Sony take 30%? Where/Are there any other restrictions or issues that make it a less than advantageous for developers to allocate their time and resources?
    You lost me. Are you saying that Apple did away with developer fees?

    Oops I forgot the /s. I also recall Sony getting $10 per game sold but that was on console games, and I think it was regardless of what the game actually sold for.
  • Reply 11 of 14
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,622member
    Sorry to break it to you sflocal but Sony's not going away anytime soon.

    I know that. However, Sony is now just a skid mark of their former self. For them to even attempt a comeback will mean to change their entire way of doing business, and that just won't happen.
  • Reply 12 of 14
    sensisensi Posts: 346member
    Good luck with that... Imho Sony has played the d!ck by, as always, annoying potential customers with expensive control freak "features" like proprietary flash memory cards, and their Vita was mostly DOA. But now that I have read the amazing quote from Sony's CEO, claiming that they make game dev difficult to artificially "extend" the time needed to unlock the full console potential (ty dasanman69), I start to truly wonder how they are still in business with such a moronic logic. This quote alone should win over the developers heart...
  • Reply 13 of 14
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    sflocal wrote: »
    I know that. However, Sony is now just a skid mark of their former self. For them to even attempt a comeback will mean to change their entire way of doing business, and that just won't happen.

    Don't count them out just yet. As I recently learned from Guy Pierce's character in Iron Man 3 it's when you're most desperate you can figure out how to proceed.
  • Reply 14 of 14
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,980member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    Don't count them out just yet. As I recently learned from Guy Pierce's character in Iron Man 3 it's when you're most desperate you can figure out how to proceed.

    Exactly. How many companies seemed like they were done and are doing quite well now?
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