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Sony mobile push begins with Hot Shots Golf, PaRappa

ForwardWorks lines up Square Enix partnership as Project Field brings toys-to-life tech to trading card games with Yo-Kai Watch

Sony is ready to take another crack at bringing the PlayStation brand into the world of mobile games. As reported by The Wall Street Journal and detailed on the Japanese PlayStation Blog, the company today unveiled the first offerings from its new mobile subsidiary ForwardWorks.

To begin with, the company is working on smartphone versions of series that gained popularity on PlayStation consoles, such as Hot Shots Golf (also known as Everybody's Golf), PaRappa the Rapper, Arc the Lad, and Wild Arms. It will also create games based on new intellectual properties, and is working with third-parties to bring series like Nippon Ichi Software's Disgaea to phones. The company also announced a partnership with Square Enix for a new project, but gave no details about what it would be.

Finally, ForwardWorks revealed that it will roll out a new peripheral system called Project Field that will embed toys-to-life technology in trading cards, allowing for real-world trading card games that interact with mobile apps through Bluetooth connections. The cards can be placed on a special pad which detects not only which cards are in play, but how they are oriented and when they are moved across the pad. The first Project Field game will be a Yo-Kai Watch title from Bandai and Level 5.

"We will make the full use of assets PlayStation has built to release games best optimized for the smartphone platform," Sony's Tomoki Kawaguchi is quoted as saying of the ForwardWorks initiative.

This is not the first time Sony has tried to carve out a spot on mobiles for its console brand. In 2012, the company pushed PlayStation Mobile as its expansion into the market. It admitted defeat three years later, shutting the program down in early 2015. ForwardWorks was established in March of this year to make mobile games for the Japanese and Asian markets.

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