Sony said to bring PlaySta­tion games to ev­ery smart­phone

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

TOKYO: Sony Corp. is look­ing to ex­tend its lead in video games by push­ing into smart­phones with ti­tles de­rived from its top-sell­ing PlaySta­tion con­soles. The elec­tron­ics and en­ter­tain­ment con­glom­er­ate is creat­ing a new unit called For­wardWorks Corp., which will de­velop and sell ap­pli­ca­tions and con­tent for smart­phone users in Ja­pan and Asia, the Tokyo-based com­pany said in a state­ment Thurs­day.

Sony is seek­ing to lure back users who are turn­ing to smart­phones to play games, es­pe­cially in Asia where mo­bile games and puz­zle apps have be­come an im­por­tant driver of in­dus­try growth. While Sony has an ad­van­tage, with 36 mil­lion users and the cur­rent PlaySta­tion gen­er­a­tion out­selling con­soles from Mi­crosoft Corp. and Nin­tendo Co., it's go­ing to face plenty of com­pe­ti­tion. Last week, Nin­tendo un­veiled a new mo­bile app called Mi­it­omo that will bring hits like Su­per Mario Bros. to smart­phones -- it quickly topped down­load charts. "The mo­bile mar­ket has grown in size to ri­val that for tra­di­tional game ma­chines," said Masaki Tsukakoshi, a spokesman at Sony's games unit. "We are look­ing to cre­ate an op­por­tu­nity for more users to eas­ily try fully-fledged game ti­tles that em­pha­size playa­bil­ity."

Sony is also look­ing to build on its strong base of PlaySta­tion fans with the in­tro­duc­tion of vir­tual-re­al­ity head­set and ex­pan­sion of on­line con­tent. Ear­lier this month, Sony said its PlaySta­tion VR gog­gles will go on sale in Oc­to­ber for $399, un­der­cut­ting more ex­pen­sive de­vices. The com­pany is adding Walt Dis­ney Co.'s ESPN, ABC and kids net­works to its PlaySta­tion Vue TV-stream­ing ser­vice, and also cut the price of the ca­ble-TV al­ter­na­tive by 20 per­cent to $40 a month. For­wardWorks will be­gin op­er­a­tions April 1 and be based in Tokyo, Sony said.

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