Earlier this year Sony launched a new subsidiary to start work on transitioning some of their biggest titles from their console lineup to mobile devices. The subsidiary, ForwardWorks, has committed to bringing at least five titles from the Sony portfolio of games to both the iOS and Android platforms according to an announcement from Sony today. The titles will be released no later than March 2018 if ForwardWorks sticks to their plans.
Moving traditional gaming titles to mobile devices has been a slow process. Some of the struggles can be attributed to challenges with hardware and waiting for manufacturers to reach a point where titles could run at a level similar to dedicated consoles or full-fledged computers. There is also the challenge of concepts like controls for games when the screen and the controller are one and the same.
As Nintendo revealed over the summer with the release and subsequent success of Pokémon Go, it is possible to make the leap from the console to mobile devices. Sony hopes to replicate that success, especially in Japan where they have struggled with their console titles. However, consumers in Japan do seem to be willing to spend on mobile games where revenues exceed $12.4 billion annually.
Sony is launching this latest initiative at the same time that Nintendo is trying to capitalize on the momentum created by Pokémon Go. That could create some additional challenges for Sony as their portfolio of titles is not as well-known as Nintendo’s library. Sony does have titles like Ratchet & Clank, God of War and LittleBigPlanet to draw on.
One thing that has not changed since the ForwardWorks announcement is the limited geographic scope of Sony’s plans. The company is still planning to limit release of these new titles to the Japanese and other Asian markets. The U.S. and Europe will apparently be left out in the cold.
source: The Wall Street Journal