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article imageSony to bring PlayStation games to smartphones for the first time

By James Walker     Mar 24, 2016 in Entertainment
Sony has announced it is going to bring several of its major PlayStation game franchises to iOS and Android smartphones. The company has formed a new business unit to perform the work, following in the footsteps of Nintendo's recent smartphone launch.
As TechCrunch reports, Sony announced the creation of ForwardWorks Corporation in a press release today. ForwardWorks will "deploy new services toward the ever-expanding smart device market" from April 1, 2016.
The company will work to bring the intellectual property of Sony's gaming titles and characters to smartphones, moving PlayStation games beyond the console brand for the first time. Initially, ForwardWorks will be focusing on smartphone users in Japan and Asia. It isn't clear whether its creations will be available in other regions.
The company will work to bring "fully-fledged" titles to smartphones using existing Sony franchises. ForwardWorks appears to be a revival of Sony's mobile gaming efforts after the demise of PlayStation Mobile last year.
PlayStation Mobile focused on Sony's own Xperia smartphones and PlayStation Vita handheld console, limiting its availability and popularity. Xperia phones and a small number of other Android headsets could run old PlayStation 1 games while Vita owners could play mobile titles under the program. In practice, gamers on both platforms had little desire to try out the content of the other and Sony shut the initiative down in 2015.
ForwardWorks will take a more traditional approach to bringing console games to phones. This time, franchises will be developed as actual smartphone titles, a move which should make them more popular and accessible to a wider audience.
Sony is the second console gaming giant to head towards mobile platforms. Nintendo has begun to develop titles for smartphones, releasing its first mobile app last week to a positive reception. Miitomo, a social game in which players interact with questioning avatars, attracted 1 million downloads in the first three days after its release. It is currently only available in Japan and offers no existing Nintendo characters.
Nintendo and Sony are heading off on different courses though. Nintendo has indicated it will make more Miitomo-style games, developing short and simple apps to attract people back to its brand. By contrast, Sony wants to extend the reach of its intellectual property, building fully-featured games that show its franchises at their best.
ForwardWorks will begin operating on April 1, the same day that Sony Computer Entertainment will rename itself as Sony Interactive Entertainment. The new company will be led by Atsushi Morita as President and has a starting capital of 10 million Japanese yen.
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