Nintendo Is Finally Going Mobile; But Do They Want To?
The following is a guest post by Dylan Chadwick at Fueled.com
Looks like the 90s are finally well and truly over, as Nintendo is (FINALLY) making a late entrance into the wide world of mobile gaming, producing and porting games for smart devices like tablets and smartphones.
Sure, it’s probably old news for dedicated gamers, but the announcement of a Nintendo-DeNA partnership, which was made by the Japanese giant’s CEO, Satoru Iwata, came as a bit of a surprise, as Nintendo was the only big gaming company still holding out on introducing their famous franchise into the world of smartphones and tablets.
And to be completely fair, the gaming juggernaut seems to still be dragging its feet on transitioning to smart devices. This is according to an exclusive interview with TIME. For starters, Nintendo did announce the future release of a new standalone gaming system, code named NX, along with their partnership with DeNA – clearly stating that they are by no means abandoning their traditional gaming consoles.
More than that, Iwata has mentioned on more than one occasion that they hope the new games for smart devices will attract new fans to their traditional consoles, while also stressing that the two gaming experiences will be very different. In fact, Iwata cites the specific difficulties faced by Nintendo when trying to import their IP into the realm of smart devices as one of the main reasons behind their late entry into the market. This is quite a prescient admission for such a company.
Apart from these perceived holdups, Nintendo isn’t being particularly forthcoming in revealing details of their new venture. They say they will create a new online platform for the smart devices, one which will be shared by their traditional gaming systems and PCs, but they still haven’t set a model for whether their games will be free-to-play or paid upfront. They also say existing games won’t be imported into smart devices, but they vow to make use of their “vast IP library”, giving hope to fans that some of their favorite franchises might make a mobile appearance.
This information, while limited, has been polarizing public opinion since it first hit the web. On the one side, according to Fortune, Nintendo shares did reach a record-value the day after the announcement. On the other hand, gamers and tech websites seem concerned that Nintendo is looking at the smart device market the wrong way, trying to lure gamers towards their traditional gaming systems instead of really developing the mobile experience, which is a mistake by most of these people’s standards.
It is still early to weigh in on Nintendo’s foray into mobile gaming, especially since not much of what has been announced seems to be set in stone, aside from the fact that there will be a new platform and new games, and that they aren’t likely to be free to play.
As for whether existing franchises, such as Mario, Zelda or newer iterations of these titles for the 3DS and the Wii, will be imported into the system, all we can say is that some franchises have shown great potential in the past, while others would have to be revamped to fit the playing scheme of mobile devices. It is safe to say, however, that fans of Mario, Kirby, and other classic characters would most likely be pleased to be given the chance to play with them on new games for their smartphones and tablets, even if they have to pay upfront to do so.