Sony is making plans to launch at least five smartphone games by March 2018, targeting Japan and other Asian markets. A new report from Nikkei suggests that Sony Interactive Entertainment will be offering smartphone games based on its popular PlayStation series, and this will be handled by the company’s gaming arm (subsidiary) – Forward Works.
Sony is expected to revive some older games that are not compatible with PlayStation’s latest hardware for mobile platforms. The games will reportedly be linked to consoles as well, and the Japanese tech giant will announce titles it is developing by the end of 2016.
There is a huge market for mobile phone gaming, and Pokemon GO is the biggest example of that. The augmented reality game went viral, and helped rake millions of dollars for the game’s creator Niantic and partners – Nintendo and The Pokemon Company, through in-app purchases. Sony continues to lose traction in the competitive Android smartphone market (currently dominated by Samsung).
Nintendo at the Apple iPhone 7 launch announced ‘Super Mario Run’ for iOS, and Sony too realises the importance of mobile gaming. Sony’s gaming arm, ForwardWorks was formed earlier this year with an objective of leveraging the intellectual property of PlayStation dedicated software titles and bringing it to smartphones.
Sony in 2014 sold of its PC business (VAIO) to an investment firm – Japan Industrial Partners, in an attempt to restructure the company and focus on mobile devices. While Sony has failed to capture the smartphone industry by storm, the company’s PlayStation consoles have been doing well. According to a BusinessInsider report, Sony has sold 40 million units of the PlayStation 4 (PS4) since its launch in November 2013. This makes the PS4 the best selling gaming console in the world right now, and Sony recently announced two new versions of the console last month.
We’ll have to wait and see if Sony launches these new games for smartphones.