Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Minis Have Arrived?

Considered a miss, the PSP Go may not have set sales on fire, but it did show the world that Sony is giving serious consideration to the path cell phones are on.  Minis, the games you can download on the PlayStation Network, are Sony's answer to iPhone (and the like) apps.  This plan seems to be working.

The PSP,  which is what I play Minis on, is obviously a handheld system.  When dealing with a handheld system, I tend to think the games should be shorter in length as opposed to the epic games you play on the PS3.  I don't mind the longer games, but sometimes you just want to dive into something that's going to last about 15 minutes.  That's where the Minis come in (though they haven't taken off like gangbusters just yet).  There are all kinds of titles to fit just about every taste, and they are meant to be played in short bursts.  They appeal to the app mindset, as well, but I don't think they'll cause anyone who plays games on their phone to consider a PSP simply for the Minis.

If you want a PSP, you either already have one or are saving up for one.  I can't see some iPhone user who has downloaded a Tetris-clone thinking, "This is great!  I bet the Minis on the PSP are even better.  I've got to get one."  It's just not going to happen.

For PSP users, however, these games are like a godsend, and if they sell well I can only see them getting better.  They are affordable, enjoyable, and don't eat up a lot of your time.  As they become greater in number, though, there will be more crap to wade through, so the reviews and word-of-mouth will become even more important.  (Big fan of Tetris here.  Nobody likes blowing $60 on a bad game, but at least you can always say you got a few hours of play out of it.  $5.00 for a crappy game that is short in length almost seems worse.

Sony, which has had a series of missteps that seemed to start with the pricing of the PS3 and most recently occurred with the aforementioned PSP Go, has it right this time. 

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