Sony, eyeballing Nintendo’s success with Pokémon Go, is “aggressively getting into” mobile gaming, chief executive Kaz Hirai said.
“It’s quite a shift from being just a console-based business to being on mobile phones as well,” Hirai told the Financial Times at the IFA consumer electronics expo in Berlin.
Hirai’s comments highlight another console maker’s acceptance of the inevitability of mobile device gaming as a necessary platform. Nintendo had been resistant for years to investor demands to push into the mobile space, relenting this year with Miitomo, a social networking app, and then breaking through with Pokémon Go.
It should be noted, however, that Nintendo is a part owner of the company that publishes the game, not its sole publisher or developer, and the Pokémon Go Plus premium device it will sell for the app has yet to hit shelves.
An analyst pointed out to FT that Sony’s strategy with regard to mobile has to date been less about making money from these apps and more about using them to sell more consoles (or handsets) and games on them. That’s due to change. In March, Sony Computer Entertainment established ForwardWorks Corporation, which will make apps for mobile devices based on PlayStation games and characters.
Meanwhile, Sony has curtailed all first-party development for its PlayStation Vita, even ending the porting of the MLB The Show series to the device.