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PlayStation Minis May Share PSPgo's Doom

There's no question that Apple changed the world with the inception of the "app." Consumers were introduced to small downloadable nuggets that could do more things than they could have possibly imagined: compose an entire song, create documents, keep track of finances, take adventurers into a virtual fantasy EverQuest-type world and more. The little "apps" were small, cheap, and packed full of goodness. Naturally everyone other than Apple had to follow suit--including Sony.

Rather than label its small games as "apps," Sony went with the name "minis." The gaming apps are currently available on the PlayStation Network and playable on both the PlayStation 3 and the PSP handheld system. They're also considerably cheaper than the typical "retail" PlayStation Network title, and considerably smaller in overall size and content.

Ultimately the implementation of "minis" into the PlayStation Network seems like a "me too" effort rather than providing gamers something worthwhile. Apparently the Sony-based community agrees, as only 1.7-percent of the 60 million PSP owners have actually purchased minis since their initial debut--we're not even counting the PS3 owners. That's a minute number when compared to the 51-percent of iPhone owners purchasing five or more games and 54-percent of Blackberry owners purchasing games for their smartphones.

So how many minis have actually been downloaded? According to Sony, over one million worldwide during the last nine months. Currently there are 96 minis listed on the PlayStation Network store from roughly 50 developers and publishers. That's a healthy number of small, affordable games most Sony gamers are apparently ignoring. The epic fail of the PSPgo--the preferred platform for the minis format--hasn't helped their reputation either.

Still, with the introduction of PlayStation Plus, the number of downloads may actually increase. Titles such as Age of Zombies and Fieldrunners are currently free to download and play for subscribers.