Sony plans at least 5 PlayStation games for Android and iOS

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Sony is following Nintendo's footsteps.
Photo: Sony

Nintendo finally gave in and started developing games for mobile devices last year, and now Sony is following suit.

The Japanese electronics giant today confirmed it will bring more than five PlayStation games to Android and iOS before March 2018.

Unlike Nintendo, Sony’s console business is thriving off the back of the PlayStation 4, and it continues to churn out popular franchises that sell well worldwide. However, console sales are actually down in Japan, and mobile games are making up over 50 percent of revenues.

Through its ForwardWorks subsidiary, which was set up earlier this year to focus on mobile, Sony will bring at least five PlayStation games to smartphones and tablets. Japan and other Asian markets will see them first, followed by other countries.

Sony hasn’t yet confirmed what those first games will be, but it is expected to take advantage of its most popular franchises. Nintendo is now taking a similar approach with Super Mario Run, which is coming soon to iOS.

Despite significantly stronger console sales, Sony’s own franchises are considered to be much weaker than Nintendo’s. Titles like Uncharted sell well, but they don’t have the same appeal as Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Pokémon, Mario Kart, and many others.

“Sony doesn’t have the same power as the Nintendo IP. There is nothing that comes even close to Mario,” Serkan Toto, CEO of Japanese gaming consultant and advisory group Kantan Games, told CNBC.

“If the first couple of games from that company just don’t work, I think the smartphone game business will see the same fate as the portable game business. Nobody talks about the [PlayStation] Vita anymore.”

This isn’t the first time Sony has offered PlayStation games on mobile; its own Xperia devices powered by Android already have access to classic PlayStation games. However, this is the first time the company will develop new titles specifically for Android and iOS.