The way we use technology is constantly evolving, to the point that having the same experience on a mobile as you would on a desktop or console is becoming the norm. Technology makers are aiming to get us to a point where we can start a task on one device and then pick it up on another, use one device to control another, or simply be able to have the same access on several devices.
One of the key driving factors behind this shift is the use of smartphones and tablets, where apps have become implemented into our everyday lives. Whether it’s Sky Q’s ability to start watching a program on your TV and then pick it up on your tablet, or companies offering an app and a desktop solution to go side by side.
PlayLink links your smartphone to your PlayStation 4
Sony is the latest brand to recognise this trend and recently used the popular gaming convention E3 to announce PlayLink, a collection of smartphone-controlled games designed to bring the whole family together.
PlayLink allows you to play a game through the PlayStation 4; however, instead of using a control pad, you use an iOS or Android smartphone to control the action. The idea is for a quick burst of gameplay, short enough that you don’t need to spend an age getting used to controls, yet still be addictive enough to make you frequently play with others.
Other than the obvious convenience of being able to quickly pick up and play a game on your console through your smartphone, Sony is hoping to extend their reach to people who don’t play on a regular basis.
There are five games in the PlayLink line-up so far: That’s You!, Frantics, Knowledge is Power, SingStar Celebration, and Hidden Agenda. Let’s take a look at two of these upcoming games.
Set off on a journey of discovery with up to five of your friends and family, and find out what you really think about each other. On July 4th, PlayStation Plus members will get the full version of That’s You! at no additional cost.
Hidden Agenda is narrative-driven detective thriller game from Supermassive Games, the developer of Until Dawn. Blending the best elements of movies and games, this story based adventure drops you into a tale rife with chilling moral dilemmas. It tells the story of a serial killer known as “The Trapper,” who sets up traps on the bodies of victims. You play as a detective and a district attorney tasked with tracking down the remaining victims. Up to four players can join in and influence the narrative.
Continuing the Trends
Of course, mobile gaming is nothing new, and since the boom of the smartphone, playing games on a mobile device has become a regular feature. In fact, if you look at the majority of games released on a console, there is often a mobile version of the same game to compliment it.
Popular football series FIFA is one that has consistently released both on a console and mobile, while other popular franchises like Tomb Raider and Star Wars have also seen various mobile versions of their games released.
This shows the continuing trend and the need for gaming developers to keep up with demands by offering more than one choice to consumers. We live in a world where options are unparalleled so it’s important for gaming developers to keep up.
While offering a mobile version of a game alongside a console version is a good start, it’s still not reached a level where you can have the exact same experience between desktop products and mobile devices. PlayLink will hope to bridge that gap, but if it wants any indication as to how to do it right, Sony only need look at the online gambling industry.
A brand like 888poker lets players download an app and play Sit & Go and multi-table poker tournaments on their mobile phone or tablet device. On the go, players get much the same experience as they would playing on the 888 website, which makes using the service easy and seamless, whether they’re playing for free or for real money.
It’s this kind of cross-platform support that Sony will hope to replicate with its announcement of PlayLink.
In Britain, online gambling has become the single biggest gambling sector, with it making up 33% of all gambling platforms. Surely one of the overriding factors behind online gambling’s success has been the convenience when it comes to playing.
If Sony can follow the lead of other media, they can gain a foothold on the cross-platform market – at least from the point of view of offering their audience both a mobile and console experience that meshes together.