You won’t just be playing PlayStation 4 platformer Knack on Sony’s next generation system this year, as Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida has revealed that the launch title is netting a smartphone application, too. The iOS and Android extra will be available for free, and will allow you to unlock additional items in the main game.
“We've totally shifted our way of thinking,” the executive said of the platform holder’s mobile strategy in an interview with Games Industry.biz. “Through the companion apps, the official PlayStation App, and game dedicated apps... in some cases, we're creating small games that go with PS4 titles. We're releasing a puzzle game themed around Knack that you can play for free.”
The upper-ranking employee added that the title is a lot of fun – and could encourage more casual gamers to eventually explore the console release. “People might be motivated, because they've already unlocked some items, to take a look at what this Knack game on the PS4 is all about,” he explained.
According to Yoshida, the release underlines the Japanese giant’s decision to embrace mobile – rather than fight against it. “In the past, we felt like these guys were competition to our portable games, in general – but now, everyone owns these smartphones and tablets,” he noted. “Why not try to include them in the PlayStation ecosystem?”
He continued: “Lots of people don't seek out game-specific information – they’re busy. But because they use social network services [and] App Stores, let's push our info to them. That's why we are creating the hook [and] releasing the official PlayStation App on Android and iOS at the launch of the PS4.”
As demonstrated at the Tokyo Game Show earlier in the year, the PlayStation App itself is an ambitious piece of software. Not only does it allow you to connect with your friends remotely, but it also provides developers with an avenue to stream certain functions to mobile devices – essentially eliminating the need for smaller teams to build and release separate apps.
We love where the platform holder’s going with this, but we're a little worried that the firm may forget the PlayStation Vita along the way. The system is perfectly capable of running apps via its PlayStation Mobile functionality, so we hope that companion software such as the aforementioned Knack spin-off finds its way onto the console eventually.