The European iPhone and Android markets will provide a launchpad for Sony's new quest to get smart phone users checking up on their PlayStation Network business more often. Android phones, iPhones and iPod Touches will be able to download an official PlayStation app "soon," and though a North American announcement hasn't been made yet, the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and The Netherlands have all been named on a list of countries that will be getting access first.
Checking up on PSN trophies, tracking friends' statuses and sharing information directly to Facebook and Twitter will all be possible with the free apps, according to a post on the official European PlayStation blog. News feeds and updates from Sony about fresh products will also be included.
Staying caught up with friends and trophies is all well and good, but Sony's still going to have a long way to go to catch up with Microsoft's ambitious Windows Phone 7 Xbox Live integration. We can probably assume that the fabled PSP phone (which Sony hasn't announced yet ) will fill in some more gaps when it eventually comes out, but right now, they're just slowly playing catchup one continent at a time.
A PSP phone with industry-leading gaming capabilities and all of these other features would be a game-changer, though. Optimistically, I'd like to think that this is Sony's first baby step into realizing such a vision.
What do you think of features being launched with Sony's Android and iPhone PlayStation apps? Would you like to see them out in North America too? Share your opinions with us in the comment section below.