CEO says that the company is ‘aggressively’ investigating smartphone games.
Sony will make a transition towards making mobile games, inspired by the runaway success of Nintendo’s Pokémon Go.
Sony CEO Kaz Hirai said that the company was “aggressively” moving into smartphone gaming from just being a console-based business, according to the Financial Times.
Hirai explicitly cited Pokémon Go as a “game-changer” in the market and said that he was interested in the potential to “change the way people move, literally”.
He said that the use of augmented reality (AR) in Pokémon Go is a “great innovative idea that’s going to lift all boats for the video game industry”. He said that AR was a feature that could be used by Sony in its own smartphone games.
According to statistics from App Annie, Pokémon GO was even faster than Clash Royale to hit #1 top grossing app on both iOS and GOogle Play and is generating well over $1M of net revenue a day for Niantic Labs. Apple announced that the app was downloaded more frequently in its first week than any other app.
In Pokémon GO, animated creatures are interspersed with the player’s surroundings, meaning they can appear randomly in any real-world location.
Sony created a subsidiary called ForwardWorks in April 2016.
As Nintendo has done with Pokémon Go, the subsidiary’s aim is to use the intellectual property of PlayStation titles and gaming characters as well as development expertise.
The subsidiary has yet to produce any titles however.
Whether Sony can emulate the success of Pokémon Go will depend to some extent whether its intellectual property is as valuable, as well as on how effectively they manage to translate that to the particular parameters of the smartphone platform.
For example, Pokémon Go combines a beloved franchise from the 1990s with the touch screen, location service and camera offered by smartphones.