Nintendo on Smart Devices: Nothing's Ruled Out, Not Even Games

Nintendo on Smart Devices: Nothing's Ruled Out, Not Even Games

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It would be illogical not to make something for mobile, given that it's outsold dedicated consoles by a large margin, says Iwata.

If you're a Nintendo fan, then you know its policy on smart device development is murky at best. At one point it was allegedly going to bring demos of its console games to smartphones, then it said it wasn't making games for smartphones. Now, the latest word from Nintendo's mountaintop: yes, it might make games for smartphones. Satoru Iwata's seen the sales figures, and smart devices have outsold dedicated game systems by a large margin. It would be "illogical" not to pursue a smart device market.

"I have not given any restrictions to the development team," said Iwata, "even not ruling out the possibility of making games or using our game characters." But if your next thought is its-a me, its-a Mario, wipe any such blasphemies from your mind. Nintendo wants to leverage itself as a hardware and a software maker. It doesn't see that happening if it starts putting its crown jewels on someone else's machine, though it does see some benefit to licensing its IP to outside companies, preferably having Nintendo's characters appear in something other than a video game. That increases global exposure to Nintendo's characters while not going head-to-head with Nintendo's products. On smart devices, it would prefer to focus on "achieving greater ties with our consumers," and intends to release something this year that, it hopes, will do exactly that.

What will that something be? A game, an app, something else? Right now it sounds as if not even Nintendo knows for sure. Iwata promises it'll be valuable to consumers and unique to the Nintendo brand, but as for what it actually is, all Iwata's prepared to say is, wait and see.

Source: Nintendo

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It's really a shame. So many of Nintendo's franchises could naturally fit a smart phone or tablet layout, like Fire Emblem, or Pikmin, or New Super Mario Brothers. While games like the 3D Zeldas could be a challenge, I am sure it'd be one Nintendo is more up to meeting.

It's a damn shame. I'd love to play these games, but I'm not going to throw away two hundred dollars on a platform just to play Nintendo games. Even the 3DS has some third party-support.

Aww, and here I was thinking Nintendo was going to release an official emulator for the older handheld systems, that people could buy games for to play on their devices. So many old classics that aren't available any more.

Fire Emblem I can see, Pikmin as well, but Mario is a terrible, terrible game for mobile devices. Time and again mobile developers have proven that platformers do not control nearly as tightly without buttons. I can't imagine a mobile device would ever see a Mario game even if they could get the controls right, though, as Nintendo would never be willing to devalue the franchise to the point required of the people who buy mobile games. The way the marketplace has been flooded with freemium and one dollar games, it would be almost impossible for Nintendo to obtain the $40 they believe their first-party games are worth. Considering the high level of quality of most of those games, I don't actually believe that price point is necessarily unreasonable, either.

Nintendo's turning into Microsoft, with nobody apparently knowing what their actual direction is.

MazokuRanma:
Fire Emblem I can see, Pikmin as well, but Mario is a terrible, terrible game for mobile devices. Time and again mobile developers have proven that platformers do not control nearly as tightly without buttons. I can't imagine a mobile device would ever see a Mario game even if they could get the controls right, though, as Nintendo would never be willing to devalue the franchise to the point required of the people who buy mobile games. The way the marketplace has been flooded with freemium and one dollar games, it would be almost impossible for Nintendo to obtain the $40 they believe their first-party games are worth. Considering the high level of quality of most of those games, I don't actually believe that price point is necessarily unreasonable, either.

In fairness, a good portion of the cost of DS/3DS games comes from their media: proprietary flash cards ain't cheap. They're cheaper than the old days, but still. Nintendo wouldn't have to charge 40 dollars to make the kind of cash they're used to, and Squeeeeenix has sold well enough with fifteen dollar games. The problem then would be that they would be competing against themselves. Theoretically, anyway.

Probably just apps; Iwata clearly says: "However, if you report that we will release Mario on smart devices, it would be a completely misleading statement." No games on smart phones for awhile if ever. It's about time people get over that

"Preferably having Nintendo's characters appear in something other than a video game."

Hey, there are tons of companies making their products into tv shows for kids. They could have like a Zelda TV show or some- no! I'm sorry, no, no, no, no!

No, perhaps it's best to leave those floodgates closed.

Hmm... a stand-alone, wifi enabled, Android powered Wii-U gamepad with access to Nintendo's storefront(whatever it is called)?
For $100 I might buy one of those

"However, if you report that we will release Mario on smart devices, it would be a completely misleading statement. It is our intention to release some application on smart devices this year that is capable of attracting consumer attention and communicating the value of our entertainment offerings"

Pretty sure Iwata was speaking of potential mini game or small sections of their games as demo or teasers, not entirely new games. They have a small team working on small mini games that involve some of the characters, nothing more at the moment.

Iwata literally wanted to avoid media touting nintendo was bring its games to smart devices, so much for that.

But but but... What about Nintendo saying they will never release games for systems they don't make? That it would "do just fine" and "would never dream of going 3rd party"? Are they perhaps waking up at last to see the numbers? I certainly hope so.

To me, that large quoted paragraph is the best explanation as to why Nintendo is an increasingly irrelevant and behind the times. It reeks of hubris and narcissism.

 

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