Sony is forming a new company, ForwardWorks, to bring its classic PlayStation 1 games to IOS devices. Am I the only one that sees this as a bad thing? Maybe I am just cynical or need to be more ‘down with the kids’ but in all honesty this, to me, signifies the downfall of the classic console experience. I know, I know, it sounds ridiculous but focusing time and effort on derivative what can only be called minigames, or “tap and slash” if you will, seems pretty damn medieval to me.
Not only does this seem pointless but it will damage the company’s reputation to take this dive into mobile gaming because to see a top quality gaming company put its name to a tacky mobile game, that’s only use is to entertain you whilst you’re sat on the toilet, would make Sony appear to be a much lower quality company than it really is. Furthermore, the fact that it is classic PS1 games that the company will be dumbing down just adds further insult to injury.
I still remember the golden days as a kid with my brother and sister when we would spend endless hours playing Crash Bandicoot insisting on finding every last Gem until we were cross-eyed. We would traverse all kinds of lands and go on insane adventures or battle the just plain weird in TimeSplitters. I fail to see how mobile apps will offer anything like this, if anything it’s making gaming incredibly antisocial and taking away the magic of sitting around battling your friends and family with a controller in hand.
I understand that handheld gaming consoles could be seen to be similarly antisocial, however, they still provide a unique gaming experience and multiplayer is very much an option. Furthermore, the quality of games are still very high and I agree that gaming should be portable, that’s why we have handhelds, a mobile is not a gaming device. Sorry.
Sony have got home console gaming right. Their portable gaming adventures have never been all that successful in comparison, therefore, mobile gaming does seem bizarre. Mobile apps will not impact the PS4 in any way but it does seem very unnecessary when all it will do is damage reputation. The PlayStation Mobile initiative shut down last year, this company aimed to bridge the gap between indie mobile games and the PlayStation Vita. This seemed like a much more logical way of approaching mobile gaming. However, it failed. Therefore, attempting to recreate classic console games as shallow mobile apps in order to succeed where PlayStation Mobile did not, is just a little bit crazy.
The idea behind ForwardWorks is that PS1 classics on IOS devices will attract a younger generation and broaden their audience. However, it upsets me that younger generations will not fully appreciate the beauty of the old school PS1 games as they will be given an app that does the games no justice whatsoever. Apps that accompany games such as the Fallout Pip-Boy app are really clever ideas and would be welcomed and fully appreciated by gamers. Just please do not make Flappy Bird: Spyro Edition.
Sony’s plan to join indie apps and the Vita together was a good one but it’s failure should really be a warning that ForwardWorks will follow suit. The idea of shrinking amazing console experiences down into a little app seems insane but maybe it will sell millions. Maybe I will learn to embrace mobile gaming and will never look back. Maybe mobile gaming really is the future…but that is a lot of maybe’s.