minis still alive despite Sony's PS Mobile push

Plus, Sony hopes cross-controller demo will inspire devs.

PlayStation minis are still alive despite Sony's PS Mobile push.

Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida told Eurogamer that minis remain an option for developers even as PS Mobile, which shares similar goals, gears up for launch.

"In a sense PS minis was a precursor to PS Mobile," Yoshida said. "PS minis will continue to stay. It's based on PSP tech that crossed over to PS3. PS minis brought us access to smaller developers. That has been a great experience for us to work with.

"But with PS Mobile we are trying to go even further to expand the PlayStation platform outside of PlayStation devices. That's one significant change from PS minis. We are trying to redefine what the PlayStation platfrom is, from hardware based to service based platfrom, and go cross devices."

PS Mobile launches this autumn, and is designed to offer games on PlayStation certified devices, such as tablets and smartphones, as well as PS Vita. There's also a desire to create an App Store-style shopping experience supported by the PlayStation Store and PSN ID accounts.

"The idea is to try to reach an even bigger pool of creative people, including some creative individuals, without going through the traditional platformer/publisher relationship,2 Yoshida continued. "We are trying to make the process much easier.

"In a sense PS minis was handled pretty much the same way as publishing regular PlayStation content, by going through the certifications and contracts. But with PS Mobile we are going way further, into a more App Store approach, so if you're living in the UK creating games, you can publish globally from where you are and manage your own offering. That's our vision.

"But PS minis will continue to be an option for developers."

Meanwhile, Yoshida explained why Sony devoted time during its Gamescom press conference to the cross-controller feature, which allows PlayStation 3 games to be played with a PS Vita. Sony showed LittleBigPlanet 2 being played with a Vita, using the touch screen and rear touch features as control inputs.

Some had thought the Japanese company was trying to hammer home the point that Sony hardware is able to offer much of what Nintendo's Wii U/touch screen GamePad does, but Yoshida insisted it was trying to inspire developers to come up with ways of using the tech.

"Since the launch of PS3 we offered the Remote Play functionality with PS3," he said. "So technically we've been doing what that other platform seems to be doing. But compared to PSP, Vita brings a lot more robust functionality to PS3 gaming.

"Looking at PSP as a controller, it really doesn't add much other than the screen to PS3. PS Vita on the other hand, like you saw in the demonstration of LBP2, Vita has touch screen and back touch and motion sensors and cameras. All these can be used as the input device for the game in tandem with what's on PS3. It's a more robust experience we can create.

"We are hoping LBP2 DLC for the cross controller pack will demonstrate what can be done between PS3 and PS Vita, so that inspires other developers to try something out in combinations."

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