Sony is intending to add value to the PlayStation 4 platform by releasing a companion app for the iOS and Android mobile platforms that works with this console.
But what benefits will it offer to the gamers who use this app and associate it with their console? One would be to exploit the smartphone’s or tablet’s screen as a second screen which would come in to play with a wide range of games. For example, the screen could be used to show a leaderboard or scoreboard for a game while using the big screen just for the gameplay activity. Some adventure-based games may implement this second screen as an always-displayed map of either the game’s whole world or area of local relevance so as to help with fulfilling a particular quest.
The other main benefit is to have the mobile device serve as a controller, which I would see as improving the gameplay experience for some games and players. The touchscreens offered by these devices could allow for intuitive positioning of players in a sports game or could make it real for a strategy game to be played on a console.
Sony is also intending to make these devices become a path to the PlayStation Network online gaming service such as to see what others are playing and how they are performing as well as buying games and downloadable content using the mobile device for delivery to your PS4.
What I like of this is that various gaming tasks can be made more intuitive for more players by exploiting the touchscreen rather than hammering D-pads and buttons to configure a game’s participant. Similarly, it could open the path for other games types to be playable on consoles rather than just on regular computers or mobile devices.
Similarly it could open up the games consoles to user classes other than the teenage or young-adult males of this world by making them easier to use by older people or women.