I’m old enough to remember the first Sony Playstation, and truthfully, I freak out a bit when people tell me their first console was the PS2 or PS3.
Those people actually consider the PS1 “retro”, which means I’m just old. But those people also missed out on some truly incredible Sony games (for that day and age, anyway).
Those games included the PS1 versions Gran Turismo 2, Tekken 3, Metal Gear Solid, and more.
Of course those gamers who can list the PS2 and PS3 and their first console are quickly aging too. After all, it’s entirely likely that most people in today’s generation will have their first video game experience on a smartphone. Perhaps that’s why it’s so cool to hear the news that Sony has created a gaming division specifically designed to bring its Playstation titles to iOS and Android.
Generation Smartphone will soon be able to experience the “retro” games many of us reading this grew up with. Here’s everything you need to know.
What’s happening?Sony has announced that it has created a special gaming division called ForwardWorks that will bring the intellectual property of several classic Playstation video games to Android and iOS.
What is ForwardWorks?Sony sums it up best: “ForwardWorks Corporation (ForwardWorks) [is] a new company that is aimed to deploy new services toward the ever-expanding smart device market.
ForwardWorks will begin its operation from April 1st, 2016. ForwardWorks will leverage the intellectual property of the numerous PlayStation dedicated software titles and its gaming characters as well as the knowledge and know-how of gaming development expertise which was acquired over the years with PlayStation business to provide gaming application optimized for smart devices including smartphones to users in Japan and Asia.
The company will aim to deliver users with opportunity to casually enjoy full-fledged game titles in the new field of the smart device market.”
The short, non-PR version of that is ForwardWorks is a games studio in Sony that is being tasked with bringing iterations of games and characters from its back catalog to Android and iOS.
Why is Sony doing this?Money. As the world found out with the release of Star Wars Episode 7, people will pay for nostalgia. Sony has nostalgia intellectual property by the bucketloads. Time to monetize that stuff.
So are these games ports?Ports are possible. And for those of you who don’t know what a “port” is, it’s just a translation of a game so it runs on another platform. A port generally has the exact same gameplay and graphics of the original.
However, from the limited amount of information Sony has made available, it seems that ForwardWorks will also work on new titles and brand new games—and not just ports. Those new titles and games are likely to have characters and other intellectual property from that old Playstation games we all know and love too.
Will these games only be available in Japan and Asia?From Sony’s press release, that seems to be the case for now. It’s a move that makes sense as Sony is based in Japan and the company and its properties are much more ingrained into the culture there than in the West.
That’s not to say ForwardWorks’ game releases won’t make it to the app stores in the UK and US, but it will probably be at a later date than when gamers in Asia can expect to see the first ForwardWorks games.
When will they start to see the first games?Given that ForwardWorks has just formed, it’s likely the first games won’t come out until the holiday 2016 period or early 2017. That means it would be well into 2017 before we here in the West see the games.
What titles will come out?No one knows for sure, but some of the most popular Playstation properties include games and characters including Wipeout, Uncharted, Gran Turismo, God of War, and Jak & Daxter, Sir Dan Fortescue from MediEvil, Parappa the Rapper, Wild Arms, G-Police and Cool Boarders could be included.
So will we see a PS1 emulator for iOS and Android then?It doesn’t sound like ForwardWorks or Sony’s interested in making a Playstation emulator for either iOS or Android. After all, you can get unofficial emulators for both platforms now and it wouldn’t exactly be in Sony’s best interest to bring out their own that other people could use with the bootleg ROMs floating around on the Internet.
How much will the games cost?Probably between £0.99 and £4.99 like most games do now. Or it’s entirely possible Sony will go for the freemium model and monazite via in-app purchases. I, for one, hope they charge fixed fee, but Sony will obviously do what they think will make ForwardWorks games most financially successful.