When Apple announced its new iPhone in September, the news was overshadowed by a goofy plumber with a bushy mustache and bright blue overalls: Nintendo unveiled its first-ever smartphone game starring its biggest icon, Super Mario himself.
“Super Mario Run” arrives on December 15 for $10, and it’s coming to the iPhone/iPad first thanks to a deal struck between Nintendo and Apple. Nintendo creative director Shigeru Miyamoto even appeared on stage to announce it — Miyamoto is essentially the Walt Disney of video games, having created Mario, Link, Donkey Kong, and many other iconic Nintendo characters.
For Miyamoto to appear on stage with Apple’s Tim Cook was, to put it lightly, a very big deal.
In a Tokyo event on December 7, Sony’s mobile gaming unit made a less splashy, broader announcement about Sony’s PlayStation games: 10 smartphone titles are in the works, with six planned for launch in the coming fiscal year.
Unlike Nintendo’s approach, Sony’s leading with lesser-known games from PlayStation’s past — music/rhythm game “PaRappa the Rapper” and tactical role-playing game “Arc the Lad,” according to a report from Reuters. Also unlike Nintendo’s approach, it appears that Sony’s targeting Japan first; the games will arrive on iPhone and Android in Japan and other parts of Asia before going worldwide.
This makes particular sense for the “Arc the Lad” series — it’s wildly popular in Japan.
It’s unclear if the mobile versions of these games are direct ports of the original PlayStation 1 games; we’ve asked Sony and not yet heard back, but there’s precedent. Sony’s done as much in the past — a variety of PlayStation 1 games were sold on mobile phones under the “PlayStation Mobile” name. Sony’s Xperia Play phone even had a built-in gamepad specifically for use with these types of games.
Of course, if you’re interested in playing classic (and new) PlayStation games on-the-go right now, there’s always the PlayStation Vita. Sony’s plan is to start selling these games sometime after April 2017 — we’ve asked for a full list of games and more information, but haven’t heard back as of publishing.
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