Sony has said making the PlayStation “more social” is one of the “next big challenges” for Sony, including a push into smartphone gaming to complement its AAA console releases.
Speaking during Sony’s corporate strategy meeting on Tuesday, CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said that the company viewed its work in services, mobile and social areas as “crucial” to expanding the PlayStation audience. This includes recent investment in a PlayStation movie studio and messaging platform Discord.
“From the first PlayStation we have focused on developing a platform that enables creators to share their vision with millions of people,” he said. “Our third party partners and our first party studios have used our venue to develop new worlds, new iconic characters, and masterfully crafted stories that connect the world through shared entertainment experiences.
“In addition, we will continue to strengthen the experience for our community through collaboration with partners and across Sony Group. As Yoshida mentioned earlier, one especially noteworthy collaboration is in our ongoing work with Sony Pictures to adapt key game IP for film and tv entertainment with 10 projects currently in various stages of development.
“Another important area is the convergence of Social and Entertainment, which is making communication an increasingly critical component of entertainment. Our investment in Discord is another example of the convergence of social and entertainment; fan reception to this news has been positive, indicating a desire to expand the social aspects of gaming.”
Ryan went on to confirm that PlayStation plans to bring its franchises to mobile as part of a new initiative. Last month a job ad suggested that the company had established a new business unit exactly for this purpose.
“The content developed by PlayStation Studios these past 25 years has created a wealth of IP and provided PlayStation with immersive experiences that evoke emotions and bring players on a journey,” Ryan said.
“We have been thinking about how players enjoy our content and have had some early success with experimenting with mobile games and apps to provide more choice to gamers. Mobile is just one of the areas we are exploring to reach millions of gamers beyond our platforms.
He added: “PlayStation has a huge catalog of diverse first-party IP that can transition to smartphone gaming and complement our AAA games or live service games. We are exploring the mobile market with some wonderful PlayStation franchises so please stay tuned.
“Through investments in IP, Group collaboration within Sony, investment in Social and Mobile, we are excited for the opportunity to continue to expand our community and welcome millions of new gamers to the PlayStation family.”
Commenting on Sony’s comments, Niko Partners senior research analyst Daniel Ahmad said: “increasing the reach of IP through mobile expansion is a common strategy these days. Mobile game rev. is more than 2x the size of the console market. Even Xbox and TiMi (Tencent) announced a recent collab that signals an expansion to mobile.”
In the same meeting, Sony said its priority within the PlayStation Network was to “maintain and increase” the engagement of its community, and to expand the community itself. “Currently, we are working to enhance and develop our services within the network, such as PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now,” it said.