Almost exactly a year after announcing the closure of PlayStation Mobile, Sony is to get back into the smartphone and tablet gaming market with the opening of a new subsidiary dubbed ForwardWorks.
To be opened under the newly-formed Sony Interactive Entertainment
and opening its doors on the 1st of April - a date chosen for its relevance to Sony's financial calendar rather than any hint that the announcement may be a joke - Sony's new ForwardWorks is to take over where PlayStation Mobile left off following its closure as announced in March last year
and enacted in September.
Hoping for a second-time lucky approach to pay dividends, the ForwardWorks subsidiary is to concentrate on 'planning, development, sales and operation of software, content and network services for smart devices [supporting Android and iOS],
' with a ¥10 million capital seed (around £62,800). Atsushi Morita is to act as president, with the board made up of Hiroshi Ueda and Andrew House.
For those who had bought in to Sony's mobile ecosystem, the news will come as a blow: the company dived into the mobile gaming arena heavily in the early 2010s, launching the Xperia Play smartphone with slide-out gamepad before branching the formerly-exclusive PlayStation Mobile out onto third-party Android devices. Its closure last year saw all libraries lost: while users were able to retain any downloaded titles on their current devices, the titles cannot be transferred onto a new device nor re-downloaded in the event of a device failure or accidental deletion.