Nintendo looking to experiment with smartphones and tablets

By , on December 18, 2013
Last modified 7 years, 1 month ago

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.

[Source: King 5 News]


Chesco 7 years, 1 month ago

If they just released the entire library on iPhone, that would cost them nothing to do as the games are already made and without the need to make a new console, then, with all that free money they could use that to make a new future console to surpass Xbox. If I was the CEO of the company, that's how I would play today's Nintendo hand of cards. ;)

Geosam 7 years, 1 month ago

It does not cost nothing to port a game to iPhone. Also, Nintendo may lose lots of sales of their current consoles because people won't bother buying them because they can already play the games at a cheaper price on their iDevice. In the end, they'll just lose potential profits and they already have enough money to make a next gen console.

TheAspieFox 7 years, 1 month ago

I don't see how there's a loss of profits there, Geosam... If there was going to be any sort of loss to be had, it would have already happened, thanks to the power of emulators. I can get any/every classic game from Pre-PS1 for free on my computer-- ergo, not spending my money on an official-bought game. In fact, you may have already heard of the free emulator out there already, called "GBA4iOS" by Riley Testut. He has managed to make a working emulator on nonjailbroken iDevices, featuring games for GB/GBC/GBA/SNES/NDS. IF this guy had been in Nintendo's little industry, he would have quite the profit in his pocket!

If Nintendo decides to launch an emulator for iDevices in the same fashion for $3.99 and charge only $0.99 for each of the dozens upon dozens of games, there pretty much nothing there EXCEPT profit. In terms of Nintendo, the cost of porting to iDevices and hosting them on the App Store is extremely minimal. (This is assuming that GBA4iOS gets somehow blocked by Apple in a future OS update or something). However, there are lots of people out there who don't know about it, AND Nintendo would potentially have an advantage here over Testut: The ability to have more than one emulator at a time on your device.

Nintendo would also MAJORLY profit from releasing previous games on the App Store with just one game franchise: The Legend of Zelda. I have absolutely no doubt that iDevices can handle N64 graphics and gameplay, and so far any emulator for the N64 is badly coded or has some sort of issue with it. If Nintendo released a purchasable, working N64 emulator with IAP-games, I see nothing but profit there. The N64, probably tied with the Gameboy, was the greatest console of its time and featured some of the most memorable games in history (Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, Banjo Kazooie, Ocarina of Time, etc...).

Further, if Nintendo were to release these emulators and games into the App Store market, and create a sort of device that acts as an adaptor for controllers (let's say this adaptor utilizes the charge port and is interchangeable to use N64 controllers for input, or something)-- which I'm sure would be very easy to make given today's technology-- then that would be even more incentive to buy, and give players that more immersive experience (plus, it'd be a reason to revamp controller sales and make more money). The N64 area is a gold mine for profit, quite honestly.

This is only delving into emulators for past games, of course. New-gen and next-gen are a different story, but I still don't think that there's any room for loss in profit-- not like it would destroy Nintendo as a company if that were to happen anyway.

TheAspieFox 7 years, 1 month ago

Pokemon seriously would sell like hotcakes, though...

I hate companion apps, mostly because I do not own any new-gen consoles! The best I have is an Xbox360, and that doesn't even have wifi/internet-- it's just a regular game console used only to play discs and nothing else.