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A picture taken on November 29, 2013 in a Parisian store shows the joystick of the new Sony Playstation 4 video game console (PS4).  JOEL SAGET—AFP/Getty Images

Sony Just Formed a New Company to Make Smartphone Games

Mar 24, 2016

Nintendo's doing it, so why not Sony? That's a question for another story that maybe breaks down the demographic appeal of first-party franchises. But yes, it's true, Sony says it's getting into the smartphone games biz, effective April 1.

That requires a name change apparently, because Sony Computer Entertainment will henceforth be known as Sony Interactive Entertainment. Because "computer" is so 20th century: Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony, was formed back in 1993—before the launch of the original PlayStation.

Part two of this mobile makeover involves the creation of a new company, dubbed ForwardWorks and also coming online April 1. Its prime directive will be creating "new services toward the ever-expanding smart device market."

Some of those services will include PlayStation games and characters, says Sony, though the label "services" is vague enough to accommodate whatever Sony wants it to. Consider Miitomo, Nintendo's debut effort for smartphones. It has game-like elements, but it's more of a social messaging experiment shoehorned into an IP-awareness-building exercise plugged into the company's new meta-Nintendo network.

For now, ForwardWorks will be focused on users in Japan and Asia, which makes sense, given Japan and Asia's disproportionately higher mobile revenues compared with any other region in the world.

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