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Sony CEO Says Pokemon Go Is a "Game-Changer," Talks Company's Own Plans for Mobile

Kaz Hirai says Sony plans to "aggressively" get into mobile gaming; report also says PS4 Neo may launch this week.


Following its formation of a wholly owned subsidiary dedicated to making mobile games in March, Sony CEO Kaz Hirai has now spoken up to talk more about the PlayStation company's plans for smartphone games.

Hirai told the Financial Times (via Polygon) that Sony plans to "aggressively" get into mobile gaming. "It's quite a shift from being just a console-based business to being on mobile phones as well," he said.

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In talking about Sony's plans for mobile, the executive specifically cited Pokemon Go, which has been a breakout hit since its release in July.

"Pokemon Go is a real game-changer," Hirai added. "I'm very interested in the fact that it has the potential to really change the way people move, literally."

Hirai went on to say that Pokemon Go's implementation of augmented reality to make it look like Pokemon creatures are in the real world is a "great innovative idea that's going to lift all boats for the video game industry." He added that Sony would like to see AR components added to its games.

Sony announced its new mobile game division, ForwardWorks Corporation, in March and opened it on April 1. It was not an April Fools' joke. No specific games were announced, but in a statement, Sony said ForwardWorks will leverage PlayStation franchises and characters for this new effort. Right now, these games are planned for release in Japan and Asia only on iOS and Android devices; it's possible they'll be extended to the west in the future, but this was not announced. Hirai didn't share any new information in the Financial Times interview, only saying, "They'll be coming out with titles."

The report also mentioned that Sony is "expected" to launch its new, more powerful PS4 Neo this coming week. We hadn't previously heard about a release date for the system, which many expect will be officially announced during the PlayStation news briefing this coming Wednesday, September 7. A slimmed-down PS4 could also be announced during this event.

Read the full Financial Times story here. Keep checking back with GameSpot for more PlayStation news in the days ahead.

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