Sony is looking to "aggressively" make its way into the mobile gaming market citing the massive success of augmented reality mobile game Pokémon Go, chief executive Kaz Hirai said. In an interview with the Financial Times at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin, Hirai said the GPS-powered app that has captivated millions of people around the world is a "real game-changer".
"[Mobile gaming] is something we are aggressively getting into," Hirai said. "It's quite a shift from being just a console-based business to being on mobile phones as well. Pokémon Go is real game-changer. I'm very interested in the fact that it has the potential to really change the way people move, literally."
Since the hit game's release in early July, millions of adventurous users have taken to explore their surroundings to try and capture the beloved pocket monsters using their smartphones. According to Hirai, the game's core augmented reality feature is a "great innovative idea that's going to lift all boats for the video game industry".
Hirai's comments follow Sony's formation of a new company dedicated entirely to making mobile games that was announced in March. The Japanese company's new mobile game division, ForwardWorks Corporation, was opened on 1 April.
In a statement at the time, Sony said the company 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" it acquired over the years. As of now, the company plans to release these games only in Japan and Asia for iOS and Android devices.
"Mobile gaming is a very important part of the Japanese market and therefore we've created a wholly-owned subsidiary that's completely dedicated to mobile gaming," Hirai said in the Financial Times interview. "They'll be coming out with titles."
While Nintendo has long been apprehensive about entering the mobile gaming sector, its recent ventures with social networking app Miitomo and the viral Pokémon Go have proven to be massively successful and profitable.
According to mobile app analysis firm SensorTower, Pokémon Go drew more than an estimated $440m (£330.9m) since its July release. Raking in a net revenue of over an estimated $308m for developer Niantic so far, the firm notes that the mobile game has even made more money than some summer blockbuster films this year such as Warcraft, Independence Day: Resurgence and The Angry Birds Movie.