For Sony, the PlayStation division is doing exceptionally well right now. Not only is the PS4 handing it to the Xbox One and Microsoft, but it’s making up a large, large part of the Japanese firms profits. Helping to offset losses or poor performances from their mobile and other divisions, the PS4 and the PlayStation brand are definitely money spinners for Sony. With PlayStation VR already getting a warm reception – despite the fact it doesn’t hit shelves until this Fall – things are looking bright for Sony. One area in which Sony failed to become successful however, was in mobile gaming. PlayStation Mobile – as well as devices like the Xperia Play – never really caught on, and Sony quickly decided to let the service fade away, recently closing altogether not too long ago.
Now however, there’s news that Sony might be looking to give mobile gaming another try with their “ForwardWorks” initiative. ForwardWorks will launch on April 1st, and while there’s not too much Sony is sharing right now, press materials state that the new division will “leverage the intellectual property of the numerous PlayStation dedicated software titles and its gaming characters”. While this sounds a little ambiguous, those same press materials go on to say that “the company will aim to deliver users with opportunity to casually enjoy full-fledged game titles in the new filed [sic] of the smart device market”. So, it doesn’t appear as though PlayStation Mobile is being dragged up from the dirt, but rather that Sony will use popular and familiar characters and franchises to further the PlayStation brand.
This is the sort of approach that Nintendo is taking with their newly-launched Miitomo app, which could be considered an olive branch of sorts to the mobile gaming community. Sony already has their toes dipped in mobile waters however, as their PS4 games can be played remotely from any of their Xperia Z smartphones, and the firm does have official apps to use and connect with the PlayStation Network freely available for all devices. Whether or not this new approach will help get smartphone players hooked on PlayStation brands and games – presumably with an aim to bring them over the PS4 or PS Vita – is unclear, but it’s about time that Sony took mobile gaming a little more seriously, and give it a proper try. Perhaps PlayStation Mobile and the Xperia Play were too ahead of their time? Regardless, ForwardWorks is going to help Sony focus on a new audience, albeit one that will be in Japan and other parts of Asia at first.