Electronics giant Sony has just announced that they will again take a run at releasing mobile games, specifically for Android and iOS. This is their latest attempt, after several previous debacles. Sony’s newest plan is to create a new unit called ForwardWorks, and launch it on April 1st (ironically on April Fool’s Day?).
Sony has specifically stated that they intend to release “full fledged game titles”, as well as leverage their Intellectual Property (IPs), for the upcoming mobile games coming from ForwardWorks. At least at the outset, the games will be released in Japan and other Asian markets, without mention of any others, leaving the rest of us waiting for an indeterminate period. Also, there was no mention of any launch titles, so it’s not clear if the games will be original to mobile handsets, ports of existing titles, or a combination of both.
Having seen quality ports of console games already, I don’t see that being a problem, especially if the games natively support hardware controllers. Also, with the advent of mobile VR (Google Cardboard and the Samsung Gear VR), as well as Sony’s own attempt at VR with the PS4, taking VR mobile could be an angle that Sony explores as well. In the end, we have to wait and see. Speaking personally, I can’t say that I have much faith in this venture. Anyone remember the Xperia Play? They shipped a gaming-centric phone with only 400 MB of storage on the device. SD card slot or not, not every app or game supports that feature nicely. They had plans to release a sequel, but that device was scrapped before it ever hit the market.
The now defunct Playstation Mobile
Sony still seems to support Playstation certification (as far as I can tell), but I can’t remember the last time that made news in any fashion, let alone gaming where it would be most relevant. That program enabled devices to access the now defunct Playstation Mobile, the software framework that offered games to the aforementioned certified devices, which has since closed up shop on Android in late 2014, and everywhere else the year following.
Now please don’t take this like I’m ranting against Sony as a whole. I’m not, and I’m quite the fan of the Playstation franchise, and it’s been a far cry from a flop. But their gaming efforts on mobile handsets have been sorely lacking, and almost always complete failures. I’m genuinely glad they’re trying again, and hopeful that they’ll right this ship, but it’s difficult for me to see success this time around either. We shall see soon enough though.
You can check out the full press release here for your reading pleasure.