Nintendo, long known as hesitant to allow their games on mobile platforms, recently announced that it was partnering with one of Japan’s leading mobile game companies to create games for smartphones and tablets.
For years, if you wanted to play a game featuring one of Nintendo’s classic characters such as Mario, Donkey Kong, or Link on your phone, you would have to download a third-party emulator and fire up unofficial ports of classic games. Nintendo announced earlier today that they inked a deal with Japanese company DeNA to design and create new games featuring Nintendo’s stable of characters.
When the deal was announced, Nintendo did make it clear that this partnership is for the creation of new games only – they would not be porting classic games to mobile devices. While this may be disappointing news to those who would love to play “Ocarina of Time” on their iPad, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata argued that simply porting classic games to mobile devices may damage their brand. Citing “significant differences in the controls, strengths and weaknesses in the controllers for dedicated game systems and the touchscreens of smart devices,” Iwata noted that porting existing game titles would not “provide (Nintendo’s) consumers with the best possible play experiences,” and “would just ruin the value of Nintendo’s IP (intellectual property).”
The move most likely comes in part due to Nintendo’s declining sales of their Wii U and handheld 3DS consoles, as well as the success of mobile gaming, a multi-billion dollar industry. At the moment, it is unsure what exactly Nintendo’s mobile games will look like, but the company was sure to point out that it’s not giving up on console gaming just yet. Iwata teased a new home console, codenamed the NX, which Nintendo is currently working on. In a joint presentation with DeNA, Iwata stated that he “wanted to communicate that Nintendo will be progressing with video game dedicated devices with passion.” More details surrounding the NX are expected to be available in 2016.