Sony Details Smartphone Gaming Plans, Launching More Than Five Titles by March 2018

by

Sony today confirmed that it is working on creating more than five smartphone games for iOS and Android, all expected to launch before March 2018 (via CNBC). The games will be created through Sony's ForwardWorks subsidiary, which it formed earlier in March of this year as a way to craft "full-fledged game titles" for smartphones.

At the time of that announcement, the company hadn't detailed the launch plan, or specified how many games it wanted to create, so today marks the first time it talks about its smartphone gaming plans since then. Known in March and reiterated today, the Sony iOS and Android games will first hit Japan and other Asian countries, with the expectation being that each game will then slowly rollout wider after the initial release.

iPhone-6s-sony-characters
Despite consistently strong sales figures for its PlayStation 4 system, the company's aim at Japan is an attempt to battle low console sales in a country where users are more likely to spend their time picking up mobile and smartphone games rather than sit in front of a home console system.

"Japan is a market where Sony and other console makers are struggling to sell units. Sony had to react. People are consuming smartphone games like there is no tomorrow," Serkan Toto, CEO of Japanese gaming consultant and advisory group Kantan Games, told CNBC by phone.

Sony has still yet to confirm which games and franchises might receive the smartphone treatment, but any of its first party franchises published under Sony Interactive Entertainment -- Uncharted, Sly Cooper, Ratchet & Clank, God of War -- could be fair game. Although the company said that the experiences would be "full-fledged" games, it's likely Sony will take Nintendo's approach and optimize each for smartphones, like the latter company is doing in partnership with Apple for the endless runner Super Mario Run.

Analyst Serkan Toto mentioned that since Sony's intellectual properties aren't as recognizable as Nintendo's, the company's chance for failure might be higher.

"Sony doesn't have the same power as the Nintendo IP. There is nothing that comes even close to Mario," Toto said.

"If the first couple of games from that company just don't work, I think the smartphone game business will see the same fate as the portable game business. Nobody talks about the Vita anymore," the analyst added, referring to Sony's PS Vita handheld console.

In the same vein of Sony's announcement, back in May of 2015 Nintendo revealed that the company was working on 5 smartphone games, in partnership with DeNA, with an end-goal to launch all of them by March 2017. The first was the quickly abandoned Miitomo, followed this December by Super Mario Run.

Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem were originally planned to launch this fall, but Nintendo pushed their debut back to 2017 so as not to overcrowd the end of the year and keep the spotlight on Mario. That still leaves one unannounced Nintendo mobile title to launch before the end of Nintendo's fiscal year -- March 31, 2017 -- if the company is to keep to its original promise of five smartphone games by March 2017.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
50 months ago
I love these news, keep em coming!

Cant wait to play Zelda and Metal Gear Solid on my iOS devices (legally). ;)
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
50 months ago
I've been waiting 5 years for ARM chips to get where they are today (on par with i5 dual cores for **** sake!), and we are still waiting on the A10X to come along and be even faster. This is a game Apple has already won, and I'm so happy to see proper games and software come to this platform!
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
50 months ago
It's really great that these companies are finally opening up their titles to iOS and Android, but I really do hope the same will be true for tvOS as well. As Apple's A series processors become stonger, console quality gaming will become a reality on the big screen pretty soon, and now that games are no longer required to support the Siri remote, more complex, console like games are a possibility. Eventually, with great gaming and all the different streaming and entertainment apps, Apple TV will become the utimate livingroom entertainment machine. I can't wait for AppleTV 5 to come out! :)
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
50 months ago
Crash Bandicoot on iOS would be awesome.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
50 months ago
5 titles by March 2018, year and a half away? Whew! Slow down Sony, too much too fast, I'm getting dizzy already, I can't keep up. Pfffft.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
50 months ago
If Gran Turismo comes to iOS... :eek:
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple-Acquired Dark Sky Officially Shuts Down Android App

Saturday August 1, 2020 3:43 pm PDT by
Apple in March purchased weather app Dark Sky, and at that time, Dark Sky's developers said that the app's Android version would be discontinued on July 1, 2020. However, instead of shuttering the app on that date, the app's developers announced that the discontinuation would be delayed for another month. Now that it's August, Android users are no longer able to access the app, and...

Apple May Launch This Year's 'iPhone 12' Lineup in Two Stages, With 6.1-inch Models Debuting First

Monday August 3, 2020 3:14 am PDT by
Apple last week confirmed that its "‌iPhone‌ 12" launch will be delayed this year due to the ongoing global health crisis and restrictions on travel. Apple last year started selling iPhones in late September, but this year, Apple projects supply will be "available a few weeks later," suggesting a release sometime in October. We're expecting a total of four OLED iPhones in 5.4, 6.1, and...

Top Stories: Try the 5.4-Inch iPhone 12 Display Size, Blockbuster Earnings, Tim Cook at Antitrust Hearing

Saturday August 1, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Another busy week of Apple news and rumors has wrapped up, with a lot of focus on Tim Cook's appearance at a Congressional antitrust hearing and a blockbuster earnings report. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We continued to hear rumors about the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup, including a rare admission from Apple that the lineup will launch "a few weeks later" than...

Just How Small Will the 5.4-Inch iPhone 12 Screen Be? Try It Out for Yourself

Tuesday July 28, 2020 12:57 pm PDT by
As rumors of the iPhone 12 have continued to build over the past few months, the one model that has the most excitement around it is the smallest 5.4" model. The iPhone 12 is believed to be coming in 5.4", 6.7", and 6.1" sizes. Dummy models have shown how much smaller the 5.4" is compared to the rest of the iPhone lineup. The upcoming 5.4" iPhone falls in-between the size of the original...

Unreleased iPod Touch with Mac Pro Glossy Black Finish Shared Online

Sunday August 2, 2020 11:32 am PDT by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today posted images of what seems to be a first-generation iPod Touch prototype with a 2013 Mac Pro-style glossy black finish. The Twitter user claims that the iPod Touch prototype pictured has "the same coating as the 2013 Mac Pro." Had the finish been selected for the final product, it also would have been similar to the metallic glossy black finish that...

Apple Confirms This Year's iPhone 12 Models Will Be a Little Bit Late

Thursday July 30, 2020 2:34 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call covering the third fiscal quarter of 2020 (second calendar quarter) Apple CFO Luca Maestri confirmed that Apple is expecting to release this year's iPhones later than usual. Maestri said that Apple last year started selling iPhones in late September, but this year, Apple projects supply will be "available a few weeks later." Multiple rumors have suggested that ...

Battery Likely for Upcoming Apple Watch Series 6 Filed in Certification Listings

Saturday August 1, 2020 5:46 am PDT by
A battery likely for the upcoming Apple Watch Series 6 has been filed at the Korea Testing and Research Institute and discovered by a Twitter user @yabhishekhd. Certification for a 1.17Wh battery with a capacity of 303.8mAh was issued on June 23 by the KTR, a Korean regulatory body that approves and tests new hardware ahead of public sale. The battery seems to be destined for a future...

Apple Watch Series 6 to Feature Blood Oxygen Monitoring Sensor

Friday July 31, 2020 1:56 am PDT by
The Apple Watch Series 6 will add blood oxygen monitoring to its features list when it's launched later this year, according to a new report from DigiTimes. Apple Watch 6 will feature biosensors that can monitor sleeping conditions, detect blood oxygen and measure pulse rates, heartbeats and atrial fibrillation, and will also incorporate MEMS-based accelerometer and gyroscope, all allowing the ...

Apple Marks Return of NHL With New 'Hockey Tape' Ad Shot on iPhone 11 Pro

Saturday August 1, 2020 2:33 am PDT by
Apple today marked the return of NHL hockey with a new "Shot on iPhone" ad on its YouTube channel in Canada. Titled "Hockey Tape," the 30-second video features Vegas Golden Knights players Marc-André Fleury and Mark Stone having some on-ice fun with the iPhone 11 Pro, which they attach to the boards, a hockey stick, and a skate with hockey tape. "See the game like never before with Ultra ...

Emails Reveal Why Steve Jobs and Phil Schiller Blocked In-App Purchase of Kindle Books

Friday July 31, 2020 6:25 am PDT by
Internal Apple emails, made public by the House Judiciary Committee's antitrust inquiry, have revealed information about why Apple blocked in-app purchases of Kindle books on iOS devices, reports The Verge. Two sets of emails between Steve Jobs, Phil Schiller, Eddy Cue, and various other senior Apple executives, disclose the exact thinking behind how Apple approached Kindle on iOS. The...