Did Cross Compatibility Help or Harm Sony?

When the first PlayStation launched in the West in 1995, it changed gaming forever. Consoles had existed before, but few held the same cachet and offered the range of games that Sony had in such an accessible way. As the console wars raged on, how important was it for Sony to develop a cross-compatibility strategy – and how important is it in entertainment today?

The world of online casino represents the latest in digital entertainment and is embracing cross-compatibility. As the list of the best online blackjack sites shows us, many focus on the fact that they are cross-compatible with other devices than just desktop PCs. It is recommended that potential players check how they want to engage with the game before they choose a site. Some may have limited options for those playing on certain devices, such as mobiles or tablets. While the industry is moving towards cross-compatibility, there are still some limitations. Being fully cross-compatible would be a key selling point that may encourage some players to choose one site over another.

Similarly, mobile gaming also embraces cross-compatibility as it borrowed franchises from other forms of gaming. For some, their first experience of Pokémon was when Pokémon Go launched in 2016. 2020 saw the release of Crash Bandicoot: On the Run! which took the platform gameplay of the original games and made them suitable for mobile gaming. This cross-compatibility for franchises makes them more accessible. Minecraft, for example, can be accessed in many different ways, meaning different kinds of gamers can connect with it.

Source: Pixabay

Nintendo represented the biggest cross-compatibility challenge to Sony with the Game Boy and its later iterations. Luckily, Sony developed its own competitor, the PSP, in 2004. This console was a relative success as it offered a truly multimedia experience that could fit in your pocket, which was groundbreaking in a time before smartphones had taken off. Ultimately though, the release of Nintendo’s dual-screen handheld consoles attracted people with its touchscreen, which changed how games were played, and many opted for Nintendo’s latest handheld device. Fewer than 100 million units of PSP were sold in its run until 2014, which indicates that cross-compatibility is good, but gamers still enjoy variety.

Sony’s release of the PlayStation Vita in 2011 was set to take cross-compatibility to the next level. The device was developed to blend mobile gaming – which was just taking off properly – with the better graphics, battery, and gameplay functionality of console gaming, which was intended to be the main selling point of the Vita. While the Vita developed a loyal fanbase, the commercial figures weren’t quite where Sony wanted them to be. The release of serious gaming titles was lacking, with Sony instead releasing more minigame-style titles that didn’t fully take advantage of the hardware. Coupled with the fact that these types of games were Nintendo’s bread and butter, the initial hype of Vita soon diminished.

The future of Sony seems to be in allowing PC gamers to engage with its titles. Indeed, by doing so, they are appealing to a different kind of gamer in a way that the gamer would respond to.

Across entertainment, nothing is a given. Most success comes from having some kind of strategy that relies on cross-compatibility. This is true for Sony and can be seen throughout this industry, including online casino entertainment. The future of gaming will be to allow players to engage in the way they see fit.

Title Image Source: Pixabay

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