Sony has 20 million reasons why developers should consider creating exclusive games for the PlayStation Network.
An announcement on the official PlayStation blog reveals Sony's plan to reinvigorate its PlayStation Network downloadable gaming service. To wit:
We're thrilled to announce a three-year, $20 million dollar investment plan to develop PSN exclusive games. Our line of PSN exclusives has had great success with titles such as Joe Danger, Critter Crunch, Flower and the PixelJunk series, and we're excited to add new and different game experiences to this portfolio of games that can't be found on any other game console. This investment includes support across both our own network of first-party studios as well as for the Pub Fund, which was first introduced at GDC in 2009.
The announcement goes on to extol the virtues of Sony's decision, saying the fund "means more unique, fun, innovative, edgy and higher quality game experiences on PSN that you won't find anywhere else," and name dropping upcoming PlayStation Network critical favorites like Papa & Yo as examples of what fans can expect.
This announcement comes at a critical time for the PlayStation brand. Sony is still recovering from the PSN hacking debacle of earlier this year, and while its "Welcome Back" program has been widely hailed as successful at its goal of winning back the support of fickle gamers, the company needs all the goodwill it can generate.
Sony has yet to announce any actual games connected with its nascent outpouring of monetary developer support, but the PlayStation blog claims that such news is coming shortly.
Assuming this venture pans out, it still raises the following question: Does Sony's downloadable gaming service have the potential to compete with Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade?
The last PlayStation Network exclusive I was actively excited about was 2009's Fat Princess, while Xbox 360 downloadable titles consume the vast majority of my playing time.
Am I alone here? Do you prefer Sony's downloadable service to Microsoft's? If not, what would Sony have to do to change your mind?