Sony pulls the plug on PlayStation Mobile platform

PlayStation Mobile, Sony’s attempt to recreate PlayStation experiences on Android smartphones, tablets and the PS Vita, will close in July.

The platform will stop distributing content on July 15 and in-app purchases and downloads of previously purchased software will stop on Sept. 10, Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) said Wednesday. An associated application, PlayStation Mobile for Android, will be unavailable after Sept. 10.

The development is another blow to Sony’s struggling mobile business, which hasn’t been able to outperform like the company’s hit PlayStation 4 gaming console. The PS4 had sold over 20.2 million units worldwide through the end of February and is slated to begin sales in China on March 20, following a delay of more than two months.

PlayStation Mobile was first announced in September 2012 at the Tokyo Game Show, launching the following month. It featured new and classic games priced at about US$2 to $20 from independent developers and SCE World Wide Studios.

Devices certified for the PlayStation Mobile platform were limited to Sony’s Xperia smartphones and tablets, as well as smartphones from Sharp and HTC. The service struggled to attract users, and Sony stopped support for devices running newer versions of Android last year.

SCE has also discontinued a developer program for PlayStation Mobile, with a related portal slated to close Nov. 30. After Sept. 10, PlayStation Mobile users will still be able to play content they have bought by activating up to three compatible devices, SCE said.

SCE did not immediately respond to a request for more information.

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