If there's one prevailing line of discussion related to gaming I've heard more than any other this year, it's that Nintendo should change its status from a console manufacturer to a third party publisher.
Basically, people think they should stop making consoles and handhelds, and put their games on other systems, and especially smartphones and tablets. "Think of how Pokemon would sell on the iPhone" the advocates of such change insist.
However, while it seems like a good idea of the surface, one has to wonder about the financial validity of selling a game for a few dollars on iOS that you've been selling in the millions this year on 3DS handheld at a much higher retail price.
Nintendo is no stranger to this line of questioning. In fact, Nintendo of America CEO Reggie Fils-Aime discussed the issue during an interview with King 5 news yesterday. The Japanese games giant has debated this matter at length internally (apparently), and has been looking for ways to use apps to act as marketing tools for its games.
Reggie says “We believe our games are best played and best enjoyed on our devices, and so the full game play will only be on Nintendo devices.” However, it seems like many other game publishers, Nintendo will begin to release companion apps to its games that can help influence or expand the game experience from your iPhone or iPad.
Companion apps have become more prevelant recently, with developers trying to create a 'synergy' between console games and the phone/tablet marketplace. We'll have to wait and see how Nintendo approach this, if they choose to do so at all. It might be a little weird using a companion app on your iPhone for a 3DS game, as both systems are portable. But if it offers enough incentive for players to use their 3DS or Wii 2 a little more, it might not be too long before Nintendo join the companion app party.