Sony's PlayStation gaming business is planning to launch more than five smartphone games, the company said on Friday, following in the steps ofNintendo as the Japanese electronics giant aims to take a slice of the lucrative mobile games market.
The games are to be released in the year ending March 2018 on Apple's iOS and Alphabet's Google Android operating system through Sony's ForwardWorks subsidiary, which it opened earlier this year to focus on mobile gaming.
Japan and then other Asian countries will be the first markets to receive the games.
Kiyoshi Ota | Bloomberg | Getty Images
An attendant demonstrates a game on a Sony Corp. Xperia Z4 smartphone using a PlayStation 4 (PS4) video-game console controller at the Tokyo Game Show 2015.
Console makers have been struggling in the world's third-largest games market where mobile revenues make up over 50 percent of the $12.4 billion market, according to games research firm Newzoo. In contrast, consoles make up about 38 percent of the market, a trend that is not typical in many other countries globally. And 61 percent of the country's 69 million gamers spend money. This is attractive for Sony.
"Japan is a market where Sony and other console makers are struggling to sell units. Sony had to react. People are consuming smartphone games like there is no tomorrow," Serkan Toto, CEO of Japanese gaming consultant and advisory group Kantan Games, told CNBC by phone.
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