Sony on Friday offered details on its plans for releasing more than 5 games for the iOS and Android platforms, all by March 2018. The games will be released through the company’s ForwardWorks subsidiary, which it opened earlier this year to focus on mobile gaming. (Via CNBC)
At the time of their original announcement, the company didn’t go into details about their plans, so today’s details help flesh out their plans a bit more. The first mobile games will hit devices in Japan and other Asian locales, followed by slow global rollout.
Sony’s plans address the slowing console sales in its home country of Japan, although their latest console, the PlayStation 4, still performs well globally.
“Japan is a market where Sony and other console makers are struggling to sell units. Sony had to react. People are consuming smartphone games like there is no tomorrow,” Serkan Toto, CEO of Japanese gaming consultant and advisory group Kantan Games, told CNBC by phone.
Sony did not announce any titles for games or franchises that might debut on the iOS and Android platforms. However, the company does own a number of popular franchises, published under their Sony Interactive Entertainment label, including God of War, Ratchet & Clank, and Uncharted. The company could also draw from classic franchises, such as Crash Bandicoot.
It isn’t known for sure if any such “franchise” entries for the mobile platforms would be copies of established games, or if they’ll follow Nintendo’s lead and optimize the games for the smartphone and tablet platforms.
While Nintendo has a number of recognizable properties, Sony shows a bit of a lack in said properties, making it a bit tougher for them to capitalize on them. “Sony doesn’t have the same power as the Nintendo IP. There is nothing that comes even close to Mario,” analyst Serkan Toto told CNBC.
“If the first couple of games from that company just don’t work, I think the smartphone game business will see the same fate as the portable game business. Nobody talks about the Vita anymore,” Toto added, referring to the failed PS Vita portable gaming console.