Two decades ago, Sony and Nintendo were prepared to partner on a CD-ROM drive for the SNES. Things went sour. The deal fell apart. And Sony went their own way, eventually launching the PlayStation and paving their own path to success.
Today, the two companies almost seem like best friends. BFFs! And as a dedicated best friend, Sony has decided to do everything that Nintendo does.
Take last night, for example. Sony shared the news that you'll be able to remotely play PlayStation 4 games on your Vita. "Say you're in the middle of an epic battle on PS4, but your kids have just taken over the living room," said Gaikai's Dave Perry as he took the stage to talk about the system's remote play feature. "What do you do?"
The answer? Turn off your TV and play it on the second screen in your hands. Aw! Just like the Wii U! Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, after all, and Sony does want to flatter their buddy Nintendo. Perry didn't add anything about Sony's respect for the Nintendo Wii U—which has a tablet controller that lets you play games on the second screen in your hands—but the message was implied. It was a love letter to Nintendo.
Of course, last night was simply the latest symbol of Sony's undying love for the Mario makers. Remember the PlayStation Move? Sony wanted to honor Nintendo's Wii so much that they released their own version of the Wii controller with a ball on the end. In Japanese culture, balls represent love.
Nevermind that Nintendo accused Sony of stealing their ideas. They're friends! Right? Friends! Would you steal from your best friend?
And what of last fall? Knowing that Nintendo had no plans to release a mascot fighter or kart racer, Sony decided to release their own mascot fighter and kart racer, helping fill the void with PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, their Smash Bros, and LittleBigPlanet Karting, their Mario Kart. Imagine how pleased Nintendo must have been when they realized they wouldn't even have to release their own games last year. They could all go on vacation.
Sony loves Nintendo so much, they even draw up ideas that nobody will ever see, like the Vita's "Near" application, a loving tribute to the 3DS's Street Pass function. Sony rarely talks about this function, and most Vita owners have no clue that it exists, which brings a tear to my eye. Sony's love for Nintendo knows no bounds.
It's rare to see this kind of camaraderie in the cutthroat industry of video games, so to Sony and Nintendo I say kudos. May you stay best friends forever.
'Video games are bad for you? That's what they said about rock-n-roll.'