It seems as if Sony has taken notice of Nintendo’s recent successful move into mobile gaming; the PlayStation manufacturer has announced it is forming a new business unit that will bring PS games and IP to Android and iOS devices.
The new unit is called ForwardWorks and will be lead by Atsushi Morita, Sony Computer Entertainment’s (SCE) head in Japan and Asia. It’s set to begin operations on April 1, which is the same date that Sony is merging SCE and Sony Network Entertainment International LLC (SNEI) to form the new Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) business.
Sony’s announcement says that ForwardWorks is going to focus on bringing Playstation titles and characters to smartphone users in Japan and Asia, so it may be a while before they expand outside of the region.
ForwardWorks will leverage the intellectual property of the numerous PlayStation® dedicated software titles and its gaming characters as well as the knowledge and know-how of gaming development expertise which was acquired over the years with PlayStation® business to provide gaming application optimized for smart devices including smartphones* to users in Japan and Asia. The company will aim to deliver users with opportunity to casually enjoy full-fledged game titles in the new field of the smart device market.
Hopefully for Sony, this attempt at making an impact in the smartphone market will be more successful than the Japanese company’s last effort. Sony’s PlayStation Mobile initiative, which was shut down last year, offered a selection of indie games that worked on both the PS Vita and Android smartphones, as well as bringing PS1 titles to Sony’s Xperia phones and other devices.
On Tuesday, it was reported that Miitomo, Nintendo’s communications app/game, had reached number one in the Japanese iOS charts – much to the surprise of many people. According to app store analytics and intelligence platform Mobile Action, Miitomo has so far garnered more than 1.7 million downloads and earned over $553,000. Not bad for a title that was so poorly received when first announced that it caused Nintendo’s stock to fall 9 percent.