Exactly! Their phones haven't been making them anymore than what a Xplay 2 would do on its own. If they are worried about the Vita, then make it a Vita phone built using Xplay architecture. Slide out 5 inch screen with the quad core same as the Vita, running android heavily skinned with Vita style GUI, like Touchwiz does for Samsung. They already have the know how to make a quality system. With that, they have 3 potential markets, Android gamers, smartphone, and Vita gamers. Throw in 4G PS4 connectivity through remote play and you just made a portable PS4, or PS3 with PSNOW compatibility
Honestly, an XPlay 2 is a cash cow for Sony, but oh well.
Hopefully Apple mentions something about gaming on the iPhone again. I bet that'll spark a fire under them!
A cash cow? Lol. If it was true, we would had seen the XPeria Play 2 already.
3 markets you say?
- Android gamers: this is the group that aimed the Xperia Play, and it's what made it a failure.
- Smartphone users: if you want a normal smartphone you will not buy a gaming phone.
- Vita players: yes, the same that made the Vita a complete "success".
True, the android gaming phone market is a pit that many have fallen, from N-Gage down to W3D.
For Xperia Play, it was already lacking support due to the Vita. However, Xplay had some excellent 3rd party support from devs making Xplay compatible games. Between the Vita, and the break up of Sony and Ericsson, I think the Xplay became the bastard step child of Sony. While there are many details, including the hack of the Sony built emulator for PS1 games, I feel even though the Xplay was deemed a failure, it showed the potential for the market.
As for regular smartphone users, they haven't lived until they have used analog controls on a game like slither.io, lol! But while most won't buy a gaming phone for their normal smartphone, the market is where younger buyers are concerned. Most kids have a smartphone they play games on, so this can be an alternative for them. Albeit most kids nowadays are privy to the touch screen and really don't need physical controls, some android games, mostly console quality titles, require, or highly recommend controls. So while the potential is small, there is some there.
Here is where Sony comes in, since the Vita is their system, they can easily make a slide out Vita slim, but with a port to play Vita games, so they maintain the Vita crowd. Since it's a Sony phone, they maintain a remnant of the Sony phone crowd, all while pushing the brand to probably otherwise uninterested people. Now, if running Android, unless they did something similar as they did with the PS3 for PS2 playback, they would have to have a emulator built, which would probably be hacked in the same way the Xplay was due to the open system architecture of Android. So that would be the hurdle to overcome. I haven't thought of anything yet.
I guess from my want of a gaming phone, naming the market a Cash cow for Sony is a bit of an overstatement. However, they have the backing to make it one if they were to actually try it out. With just the small Xplay push, there was over 1000 games Xplay compatible, and Xplay specially made games.
It seems like the best way to make money from a gaming phone is hardware sales, but that would mean releasing with dated hardware, in which, like the W3D, would be hated by the community due to the device being under powered.
At this moment, I'd take that! LOL! Underpowered, but as long as everything works on it, that'll be good. It is a niche device after all, perfection is not expected.