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Sony releasing Knack app as part of new mobile approach

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A mobile companion app to Knack is on the way from publisher Sony Computer Entertainment, as part of Sony's new effort to embrace the mobile space, said Sony's Shuhei Yoshida in an interview with GamesIndustry International.

"We've totally changed our approach to mobile products like smartphones and tablets," said Yoshida, president of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios.

The Knack app is one example of that, according to Yoshida — a free puzzle game that can be played to earn some items in the full PlayStation 4 title. Sony will also release an official PlayStation app on iOS and Android at the launch of the PS4 next month. The app will allow a mobile device to be used as an input device for the console, among many other functions.

Yoshida explained that Sony now realizes it can't really compete with mobile and tablet games, which are released on devices that people already own and use for daily functions in their lives, and which are free. "In order for [people] to play games on a smartphone, incremental investment is almost zero," said Yoshida. Instead, the companion app strategy makes sense because Sony can develop those experiences as gateways to gaming on more hardcore devices such as a PS4 or PlayStation Vita.

"Why not try to include [mobile-device owners] in the PlayStation ecosystem? Not that we're releasing lots of games on these mobile products, but to somehow push our PlayStation information to these devices that people already use every day," said Yoshida.