The handheld gaming market is not in a good place, as smartphones have pretty much completely taken over the mobile gaming scene. While the 3DS has enjoyed a decent amount of success in spite of this, the PlayStation Vita’s abysmal sales are a huge warning sign for the market as a whole.
Thus, it shouldn’t really come as a surprise that Sony is planning on increasing their focus on smartphone gaming going forward. The company is planning on releasing over 5 games on iOS and Android that will launch before March 2018 through Sony’s FowardWorks subsidiary.
CEO of Kantan Games Serkan Toto said that “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.” This will result in these mobile games launching in Japan first, which will then be followed by releases in other regions.
He then goes on to mention that Sony will have a harder time doing well in the mobile gaming space compared to Nintendo, as the company’s IP isn’t as strong from a brand perspective. He claims that this is why they need to find success straight out of the gate, otherwise they’ll get results similar to the PlayStation Vita situation.
Nintendo is gearing up to release a big game on smartphones later this year with Super Mario Run, which is currently set for a December release on iOS before coming to Android later.