After The Dust Has (Barely) Settled 10: SCE’s PSM Folly?

PlayStation Mobile Logo

I really really hope this is Sony Computer Entertainment badly handling something (wouldn’t be the first time) but today’s announcement that PlayStation Mobile is being shut down, without their being a comparable service replacing it, seems idiotic.

Okay we know PSM’s shutdown was pretty much inevitable since the service was discontinued on Sony branded smartphones (and with Sony spinning off it’s loss-making smartphone business, it would seem, along with half the other parts of the company for potential individual sale it’s hardly suprising – VAIO is already gone to it’s own seperate entity, it’s hardly surprising) but what now of the type of games that have been coming through as PlayStation Mobile releases?

For me personally, a PSP owning PS Vita player, I always saw PlayStation Mobile as the natural sucessor to the PSP Minis (later Minis), though I found it quite strange they were not runnable on the PS4.

For those who are unaware, PlayStation Minis were games under a certain file size that would run on the PSP/PSP Go! and also on the PS3 and then PS Vita. The range includes titles such as Pinball Dreams and A Space Shooter For Two Bucks. Literally cheap and cheerful – a good bedrock of cheap content – the vast majority of which are *still* on PlayStation store for purchase and download as they still work on the PSP, PS3 and PS Vita.

PSM is being cut off from supply later this year entirely? What madness is this?? 15th July is the last day you will be able to buy PlayStation Mobile games and apps to play on the PS Vita, or download them easly from the PlayStation Store (though it appears that they will be available to download from the download list until September, but after that another method might have to be followed, or in other words, jump through hassle hoops for the content you purchased.)

I do hope those who developed the PSM products in Unity and provided a great deal of content for the PlayStation Vita (and PlayStation TV I may add) are having words, because this is crazy.

Today’s releases on the PlayStation Store are a perfect example of how nuts this is; there are 5 PSVita Native releases (Flame Over, Hotline Miami 2:Wrong Number, Aabs Animals, Doodle Kingdom and Reel Fishing®: Master’s Challenge) while there are 11 (YES ELEVEN) PlayStation Mobile releases (see

I do hope SCE have some way of addressing this lined up. Tiny little games that would fit in a file of less than, say, 250MB (yeah megabytes!) have a place in the market especially when they are sold at anything from 40p(!). Okay I can understand how 40p content won’t make money for anyone unless it’s downloaded by more people than there are PS Vita’s, but something needs to take PSMs place. Something that the Unity developers attracted by PSM can use, especially. Something like Minis perhaps but for PSVita and PS4?

A Suggestion To SCE

“PSN Bytes” a range of PlayStation Network games and apps that fit within 250MB of storage space – and every single one is cross-buy and cross-save across PS Vita, PSTV and PS4 (and in some cases PS3?)

Okay it might need an agreement with Unity to create a new subclass to replace PSM on the free to use version of Unity… but there’s so much content that could be lost.

All the PlayStation Mobile releases developed in Unity could be ported within Unity 5 (free) with a PSN Bytes plug-in and be compiled for both PS4 and PS Vita native. A file size roof of 250MB for distribution on PlayStation Store could limit the plug-in so that anything bigger and you need Unity Pro, and to release as a standard PSN game. Release the games or apps with a base price of 99p with the option to go up to , say £7.99, using a similar pricing/fee structure to PlayStation Mobile.

SCE please allow the bedroom coders, start-ups and content producers who currently are trying things out with PlayStation Mobile to have somewhere to move to, while strengthing the catalogue for the PlayStation formats, and offering an entry level price point for content. This would encourage innovation and riskier games rather than stifle smaller developers as today’s announcement of PSM’s complete discontinuation will do.

I’d love to hear from the development community on this especially those who have been creating for PlayStation Mobile, including those who have been given a way into the industry by the combination of Unity and PSM that only started last June. As for us players, it’s another selection of content we are losing – what are your thoughts?

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About Sven Harvey 47 Articles
A professional writer with a couple of decades of writing under his belt, including working on Micro Mart and Model & Collectors Mart, Sven was also the co-founder of Auto Assembly, and long-time Infinite Frontiers team member. This fandom veteran also heads up Geekology on YouTube, as well as the local sci-fi groups; Spacedock Birmingham (Star Trek) and Autobase Birmingham (Transformers), and is an Amiga fan as well!


  1. For me, I honestly probably never would have gotten into game dev if it wasn’t for PSM and Unity. Prior to June 2014, I had no experience making games let alone knew what it took. I just remember seeing an article in April saying that Unity was coming for PSM. I thought “hmm, Unity is free, PSM is free, I could potentially make a game for my Vita”. A few months later, I learned C#, put together my first game ever, and had it running on the Vita. Now within a year’s time, I will have a total of 4 games that work on both the Vita and PSTV thanks to PSM and Unity. I know my games are not the best, but it was all fun for me to have this experience. Thank you Vita Player for the coverage and passion you have given towards the PSM platform.

    • This is what I can’t understand – people are crying out for more games on the Vita and while not all PSM games are great there are some absolute stunners out there worthy of a place in everyone’s collection yet since the start Sony have done everything they could to ignore it. Now, to make matters worse, they are removing 400+ titles from the Vita’s catalogue overnight when they should be doing everything to strengthen it.

  2. It’s sad that the vita is such a great console especially when coupled with the ps4! It is my favorite console! They need to make the next vita a ps4 controller split into half and a 7inch screen in the middle! We need bumpers and sticks that are a tough push down for a l3 click. This is the ideal future and I hope we see it before I die or ISRAEL nukes the whole world in the Sampson option.

  3. Unfortunately this was inevitable. With such little shopfront support for the PSM brand, Sony had basically no interest in the garage developer. As much as they like to beat their chest that they support the little guys and are embracing opening up their platforms, they really don’t care because there is next to no money in it for them.

    In contrast, if you look at the amount of support there is for indies on iOS and Android, you can see why everyone knows it is the future.

    I personally hope that the new Shield console will sell millions and end up squashing these walled garden consoles. I can dream, can’t I?

  4. iOS and Android aren’t as profitable as you might think. The markets are flooded with so many titles that it’s hard for smaller devs to get noticed on there or to make any money at all especially with all the clones on there.

    I agree though, marketing for PSM has been a disaster from day one and has crippled sales although Sony have made a lot more money than people would care to think. From sales and developer earnings figures that I HAVE seen, I’d estimate that Sony have made a tidy 7 figure sum from PSM since its launch, more than enough to make it commercially viable.

    • Agreed, mobile markets are way too flooded to get any exposure without either getting really lucky or resorting to really shady marketing tactics (paid reviews, etc.. see: Flappy Bird).

      I published a game on both Android and PlayStation Mobile, and the Android version received no exposure and was thus impossible to find without searching for it directly, so the only sales ended up being from my friends. On PSM, it received a decent amount of sales– more than I was expecting. I spent a decent amount of time marketing the Android version and barely any time marketing the Vita/PSM version. Trying to get exposure on mobile is a lost cause for non-freemium games, which is why things like PSM are great for indie developers.

Got any thoughts on this? Let us know!