After years of resistance, Nintendo has finally conceded the existence of smartphones and tablets — and has announced it will start making games for those platforms.
The legendary Japanese gaming giant said that it would partner with DeNA — itself a giant mobile games studio - to “develop and operate new game apps based on Nintendo's IP, including its iconic game characters, for smart devices”.
Mario. Donkey Kong. Zelda. All (probably) coming to your phone in some form. (Is it too much to hope for an Oculus Rift Pilotwings? Yes... probably. But still!)
Nintendo said that it would not port existing games, and insisted that it remained committed to its dedicated home and mobile consoles despite slow sales for the former, and the ageing hardware and software of the latter.
In a statement the two companies said “all Nintendo IP will be eligible for development and exploration by the alliance”.
In addition to straightforward games the two will also collaborate on a cross-platform subscription service due later in 2015.
“As these consumers enjoy the unique kind of gameplay found only with Nintendo, they will have the opportunity to explore even more premium experiences on Nintendo's dedicated video game platforms. Information on upcoming games and availability will be forthcoming.”
Nintendo also published this slide mentioning a new (codenamed) 'NX' console due 2016:
Nintendo President Satoru Iwata said that the two companies had been in talks since 2010, after finding that its transition to new handheld consoles had proven more difficult than hoped.
“We have come to hold a stronger passion and vision for the video games console,” he said. The two companies will invest roughly $181 million in each other as part of the deal.
The reactions ranged from the ecstatic to the puzzled:
Put every Nintendo game made before 2005 on a monthly subscription-based service. Put it on every device in the world. Profit.— Michael Rundle (@michaelrundle) March 17, 2015
I can see Nintendo's smaller IPs having a big impact on mobile. Style Savvy, Brain Age, Nintendogs, Art Academy, Pushmo, Rusty Pup.— Emily Rogers (@Emi1yRogers) March 17, 2015
Nintendo will never license their IP to be developed for mobile games. NEVER.
Until they do.
So, now.— M.G. Siegler (@mgsiegler) March 17, 2015
Nintendo thinks gaming on smartphones is really going to take off!— Garry Newman (@garrynewman) March 17, 2015
Sorry, you're out of jumps. Only $1.99 for a pack of 100 jumps. http://t.co/tECZxcgrMa— Infinite Ammo (@infinite_ammo) March 17, 2015