What Do Sony's Mobile "PlayStation" Plans Involve?

What Do Sony's Mobile "PlayStation" Plans Involve?

Sony plans to bring more PlayStation IP to mobile, but will it arrive in the form of new games, old ports, or both?

Nintendo's new social app Miitomo reached over one million downloads in Japan in less than a week. Those are some pretty solid numbers, though we don't yet know how many of those users are making in-app purchases.

Either way, Nintendo entering the mobile market has been big news, and that may be why Sony decided to share some of its own mobile plans yesterday. Specifically, Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc (a name-change from Sony Computer Entertainment Inc) announced that it intents to bring some of its PlayStation properties to mobile devices (in Japan only, at this juncture).

According to the press release Sony distributed about its plans, a team called "ForwardWorks" was assembled specifically to work on Sony's mobile projects, and will "aim to deliver users with opportunity to casually enjoy full-fledged game titles in the new filed [sic] of the smart device market."

It's not yet clear if these plans include new games developed specifically for mobile using "mascots" from the PlayStation era (e.g. Ratchet & Clank, Little Big Planet), or if ports of actual PlayStation games are coming to your iPad. As Polygon points out, Sony mascots already have a presence on the digital marketplace. However, most of those titles are simple free-to-play auto-runners, like Ratchet & Clank: Before the Nexus and Run Sackboy! Run!

On the flipside, we already know it's feasible to port classic PlayStation games to mobile. Final Fantasy VII is currently available, as is Final Fantasy IX.

ForwardWorks may even be working on both options: Ports of classic PlayStation games that, in turn, get us excited about new games starring old IP. And those new games might be full-fledged action games or RPGs, not simply auto-runners and bubble-poppers with Ratchet's face on them.

The PlayStation has already come to mobile in a couple of ways.

But as was suggested in the linked write-up about Final Fantasy IX mobile's launch, PlayStation game ports require higher-end devices in order to run properly. Then there's the endless discussion over touch screen-based controls, and the effectiveness thereof.

Regardless of whether ForwardWorks is porting classic PlayStation games, or constructing new experiences with old IP, or both, how does it intend to tackle mobile's limitations as a piece of gaming hardware? The pushback against digital d-pads would be particularly strong with ports of old games, since we've already committed the PlayStation's action game library to muscle memory.

Still, the idea of storing and playing PlayStation games on our phones is weirdly futuristic. Even though it's been done several times over by now, just thinking about it is still enough to induce dizziness. It's going to be exciting to watch ForwardWorks' plans unfold.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve, About.com, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

Related articles

Looks Like Cyberpunk 2077 Copies Have Already Started Leaking

Now's a good time to batten down the spoiler hatches.

Hitman 3 Will Reveal a New Neon-Drenched Locale Tomorrow

Hot on the heels of IO's big 007 announcement, Hitman's looking to give Night City a run for its money.

There's a New The World Ends With You Game Arriving Next Year

This is not a drill; I repeat, this is not a drill.

You may also like

Starting Screen | Now Is a Perfectly Good Time to Tackle Tough Subjects in Games Coverage

This terrible, historic year has also seen an uptick in interest around gaming. That's exactly when our best writers should follow their instincts.

Spider-Man Remastered Got Its Save-Transfer Update a Little Bit Early

Now, owners of the original on PS4 can pick things up with New Pete where they left off.

Former Dragon Age Director Opens Yellow Brick Games with BioWare, Ubisoft Veterans

The new Qu├ębec City team has some talent behind it.

Axe of the Blood God: Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is This Fall's Sneaky Great RPG Sim

Checking in on Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin, WoW: Shadowlands, and even more Fall 2020 releases.