After Nintendo’s massive success with Pokémon Go Sony is set to push “aggressively” into mobile gaming.
Sony chief executive Kaz Hirai speaking to the Financial Times at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin said;
“[Mobile gaming] is something we are aggressively getting into, It’s quite a shift from being just a console-based business to being on mobile phones as well,”
“Pokémon Go is a real game-changer. I’m very interested in the fact that it has the potential to really change the way people move, literally.”
AR, the feature through which Pokémon Go shows animated characters on a smartphone screen showing the real world, is a “great innovative idea that’s going to lift all boats for the video game industry”, according to the Japanese boss ,further stating that he is interested in adding AR capabilities to his company’s games. Despite Nintendo’s overwhelming success with Pokemon GO the two Japanese console rivals have been rather slow to join the smartphone gaming industry so far. Hirai’s comments however highlight another console maker’s acceptance of the inevitability of mobile device gaming as a necessary platform. Sony has maintained a handheld presence ever since the PlayStation Portable launched 12 years ago while they have also dabbled in platforms like the PSP Go and the Xperia line of smartphones. Sony’s mobile device presence though has been restricted to things like companion applications for the PlayStation Network and titles such as Run Sackboy! Run! Which apply Sony franchises to standard mobile game genres like endless runners.
Sony’s strategy regarding mobile’s has been less about making money from these apps and more about using them to sell more consoles and games on them. But all that is set to change. Back in March, Sony established ForwardWorks Corporation, which will design apps for mobile devices based on PlayStation games and characters. Since the Japanese spend more on mobile games per capita than any other nation in the world and are quickly followed by South Korea and China, Asia is expected to be the primary focus of the new subsidiary.