News Article

Reggie Fils-Aime Talks Mobile Strategy for Nintendo

Posted by Tim Latshaw

Probably not quite what you think

Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Amie has been making the rounds since his recent hijacking of Twitter, landing today with the editors at CNET to discuss Nintendo’s approach towards mobile devices.

Don’t worry; this is still far from talking about Nintendo ditching its hardware and working for iOS. According to Fils-Aime, however, the company is still interested in finding a way to use phone and tablets to expand its presence:

We're constantly thinking about how to leverage mobile as a marketing vehicle. How do I give little tastes of content, little experiences that then drive the consumer back to my hardware environment?

The intention seems to be to get onto mobile devices in a way that will still keep consumers buying Nintendo’s own products. The hardware, Reggie said, is still a main pillar of Nintendo’s business model:

That's why we're so focused on having content exclusive to our platform. When the consumer wants to play Mario, Zelda, and Pokemon, they have to purchase our hardware to do so. And that preserves our overall financial model.

The interview also touches briefly upon the Wii U’s Nintendo TVii service, which Reggie said would be a “viable, ongoing piece” of the platform. No further details were given as to Nintendo’s further plans for this feature.

Do you think Nintendo can find its own way onto mobile platforms, perhaps through those long-awaited Miiverse smartphone apps? Do you think it's on the right track to be doing this at all? Please feel free to sound off in the comments below.


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User Comments (64)



cfgk24 said:

Yes, send the idiot mobile generation to the wonderful Nintendo Hardware!
Sell more Hardware and get better games.



Diz93 said:

A Miiverse App would be nice of course, but it would also be cool for them to have a Nintendo Direct app or something that kept fans up-to-date on any news they have for us. Nintendo really just needs to step up their marketing campaign. Badly



Freakazoid said:

Well likely they mean the miiverse app so im not in fear that they release any game on an ios or android device



Gioku said:

Sounds like the way to do it! ...and maybe shut up that one kid I know who keeps referring to the 3DS as "mobile" and saying "Nintendo is addicted to mobile"... what a doodoo head...



Goginho said:

@Diz93 Yea, but I think they're gradually starting to step the marketing up, recently getting celebrities like Wayne Brady and Agassi.



D3athBr1ng3r187 said:

Sigh...another waste excuse to not bother with the problems of the Wii U. So rather than getting the system back in shape Nintendo thinking of going the Mobile route eternal sadness..........- _-



Falchion said:

I think releasing pokemon red and blue for $3 would generate a good number of sales and maybe add some x and y ads and bam, nintendo gets money and advertising. And they would not lose 3ds sales, but gain them.



Goginho said:

When Reggie says "giving little tastes of content", I could imagine short little demos of certain games, like a level or two from NSMB2, or one track on time trial from MK. That way, consumers may get interested and potentially purchase a Nintendo system because the demos are a good way of first-handedly showing off what content a 3DS exclusively has for example. This might even get some "non-gamers" or "casuals" to get sucked into the magic of the vibrant Nintendo content. Only quirk with this, is the interface difference.



Nintendude789 said:

No! Nintendo needs to stick with true console/handheld market! Phones aren't true platforms because a phone's main feature is social media, not video games.

Sounds like XBox One , wouldn't you agree?



Diz93 said:

@D3athBr1ng3r187 Did you even read the article? Nintendo clearly stated that there intention would be to get people to buy or get back to their hardware. Therefore, they are not going the take the mobile route. They are sticking with Handhelds and Consoles



D3athBr1ng3r187 said:

@Diz93 No......I read the article and I think in my opinion is a waste of time to me and this "intention" isn't going to shift or buyback any consoles.



Ryo_Hazuki-san said:

Reggie Translator... Love apple products and samsung lol buy nintendo systems to play out games.. Have a great day.
Please watch the profanity — TBD



JaxonH said:

Ya can't fix stupid, and there are truckloads of Homer Simpsons out there. "Wow, a blue car!" Easily entertained. 99 cent shovelware will keep them occupied for months. The mobile market doesn't NEED good games, because they're perfectly ok wasting their lives away on worthless garbage that doesn't even deserve to be classified as "games". You can show them what a real game is, but they won't care because it's not less than a buck and on their precious smartphone attached to their hip. Oh well, sucks to be them.



dizzy_boy said:

Nintendo could make a mobile version of the Nintendo Zone app where people could by themed ring tones, wall papers, game and watch type games, and watch previews of the latest games. That could be a sensible start.



unrandomsam said:

I like the idea of using my PC instead of the eshop on my actual 3DS. Pay and download it in sleep mode.

(If it is a tablet / mobile app it will more than likely be not much different.)



mystman12 said:

@JaxonH Exactly. My brother and I were talking about this the other day. If Nintendo released Super Mario Bros. DASH! For $.99 on the App Store, Everyone with a smart phone would say "Why should I get a 3DS when I can play SMB on my iPhone for $.99?" I have an iTouch and a 3DS and can safely say it is EXTREMELY rare to find a real game that isn't riddled with in-app purchases, but that is because mobile devices have a completely different market. Most mobile users are apparently okay with spending hundreds on extra lives and growing there beard a little more every day in the new Duck Dynasty game. (Btw, I don't have anything against Duck Dynasty, I just think it's WAY overrated, and the new app has reached #1 paid app on the App Store) I feel like if Nintendo released any smaller version or demo of a game on a mobile device, what I said above would happen. If they can race one cup of Mario Kart 7 for $.99, they will be satisfied. If they can try 3 days of Animal Crossing for free, they'll just get a bunch of bad reviews saying stuff like:

This free app is a total ripoff and waste of money and space because my world gets deleted after three days and then it tells me to get 3ds for the full experience wut is a 3ds why would I want such a huge fone"

I'm fine with Nintendo releasing apps like a Pokédex or Miiverse and [i]maybe[i/] a few games but that's what I think would happen.


I think I just released all of my frustration towards people on the App Store.



unrandomsam said:

Wouldn't mind some companion stuff. (Like what Sega tried to do with the VMU on the Dreamcast but nobody really worked out what to do with it yet).

Sometimes it is only reasonable for me to have one device with me.

At the moment I play either Dodonpachi Maximum or Dragon's Blade DX

(One was the original version and one is an exclusive both are not bad).

On Android I have Metal Slug X / Crazy Taxi / Jet Set Radio / Raiden Legacy / Bard's Tale / Super Hexagon (Pad support is reasonable but not perfect).

iOS has loads of good stuff it just needs updating to support the controller api. (Just look at what Square Enix / Konami / Sega / Capcom have on iOS). Even only wanting a few of them it is not too long before you have saved the £400 the device costs compared to Virtual Console prices. (But 3DS doesn't even have Neo Geo or Dreamcast or any of the Square SNES stuff). Cannot do 3:4 either just by moving the device around. (I am not bothered about Ace Attorney but the first 3 HD updated versions are £13 on iOS).



CaviarMeths said:

There should be an app to remotely access the eShop from your phone. Not to actually play games on it, but to browse, purchase, and, if your 3DS or Wii U is turned on or in sleep mode at the time, to initiate downloads.

Official manga/comics based on Nintendo IP on a mobile app would probably generate interest in the consoles as well. The Zelda manga, which started out as fanfic, but were then officially licensed, are quite good.



HawkeyeWii said:

If Nintendo truly wants to get into the mobile market somewhere down the road they should make a phone themselves. I would buy it in a heart beat!
I just don't ever want to see Nintendo sell out to Apple or any other company that rules the mobile phone market.



rjejr said:

@JaxonH - Nice rant. Sounds just like the "hardcore gamers" railing against the Wii and "waggle" 6 or 7 years ago

I really don't get the "app" hate. OK, I get it, years ago I banned the word "app" from my household, but times change. Nobody is talking Mario Kart or Smash Bros, but is Dr. Mario (the tetris clone) any worse on a phone than the DS? Or Kirbys Pinball Land? Nintendo makes lots of bad games that would work on phones. Are you telling me the Game and Watch games couldn't be played on a phone? Nintendo made all of those you know. And Nintendo Land is chock full of them, especially that tilt control racing one, and probably a lot of the Wii U Party minigames as well.

Hate them all you want, don't play them, but Rovio and Gung Ho are making loads of money off of apps. Nintendo shouldn't embrace apps whole heatedly, but Angry Kirby or Where's My Mario would be a great form of advertising, and the Wii U needs all the advertising it can get. Just don't advertise Nintendo Land b/c then nobody would bother buying a Wii U.



unrandomsam said:

@rjejr More to the point are the HD versions of the first 3 Ace Attorney's that you get complete for £13 better than the DS originals ? (With a capacitive stylus or whatever).



BlackStar9000 said:

@rjejr Angry Kirby.....sounds awesome, but I prefer HUNGRY Kirby, lanch kirby at enemies, suck them up, then use their powers to relaunch and attack structures or spit them out for one mega attack, suck up food for health regen/bonus points, battle bosses a la kirby canvas curse style with some tweaks...yup, NINTENDO i just gave you a free game idea, now MAKE IT HAPPEN!



unrandomsam said:

Most of the stuff in any of the Humble Bundles that have done Android would be £9.99 or more for the exact same thing on the eshop. (Most of those are on iOS and better on it but not as easy to find).



BlackStar9000 said:

no, they are the same, just adapted to a bigger screen, no extra frills or levels for the HD IOS phoenix wright games, btw, the new phoenix wright game is amazing, so good looking, the new 3d character designs and environments are fantastic



psuboy172 said:

I wouldn't want any cheap games. A mii app and Nintendo direct or some kind of Nintendo news app would be fine



Arminillo said:

Super Training and Pokemon Amie apps would be nice, then you can send your progress to your game.



rjejr said:

@BlackStar9000 - I know what you're getting at, but for Hungry Kirby my brain keeps envisioning a Pac Man game. Ya gotta admit, Kirby has a little bit of Pac Man in him.



Yoshis_VGM said:

@D3athBr1ng3r187 You totally did not understand this, Nintendo has always planned to bring Miiverse to iOS and Android since Wii U's Day 1, and he's most likely referring to that here.

@Diz93 I love that idea! And it could give you a notification alert when they announce a Nintendo Direct...I'd love that: "Nintendo: Tune in for a new installment of Nintendo Direct tomorrow, ___/___/13 @ 7 AM PST covering _______." Beautiful!



gregrout said:

I don't know, how about an app that keeps track of gaming titles 8 or higher that will be skipping the Wii-U? The only title coming up is what? Mario World 3D? If they want to impress me, come out with Pokemon Z for the Wii-U. Make the jump, create the connectivity between the 3DS's Pokemon X and Y. I could see that pushing 3DS users towards the Wii-U a lot more than some half-assed Mii Plaza iOS app.



ultraraichu said:

I guess the "Nintendo going mobile" must be a popular subject for investors since they have to keep reiterating that they are looking into mobile devices while protecting their own platform in the process.

On a small note, I'm glad the TVii got some recognition. Still waiting for DVR features though.



HyperSonicEXE said:

I just don't use TVii, and I know fewer and fewer people that even use traditional TV. Instead, like my wife and I, they use Netflix and Hulu.



rockodoodle said:

@rjejr Agreed. they can just make Nintendo themed apps for mobile users. Nothing too exciting, just stuff to increase their exposure to a market that they have been absent from.



WiiLovePeace said:

I've been waiting for Nintendo to send some demoes on to iOS & Android for free, then at the end telling them to get the game on a Nintendo 3DS or Wii U.



Genesaur said:

@Diz93 A Nintendo Direct app would make even more sense than one of Miiverse. At least, that's what I think.



fortius54 said:

There is no doubt that they could use a decent marketing push. I think that should leverage the family with the marketing. You are not goin to ever have a Wii U game rated M that is going to be a huge seller on the system. Other need to embrace the fact that they will be a family system, and market to that. I think that is what they are doing for the most part. They just need to do more of it.



Kicked2TheKirb said:

PLEASE NINTENDO make a Cell Phone!!!!!! it'd be the best. at least add texting and better web browser for the next gen 3DS



Zombie_Barioth said:

Exactly, they could even make a 'Wii Play Lite' or something with a couple mini-games for $0.99.

What they really need is a news app that pulls together news, reviews, and anything else people would want into one place, maybe even link it to the e-shop so people can buy stuff straight from the app if something catches their eye.



DESS-M-8 said:

Being able to access the my account via eshop remotely is something I've wanted for a longtime now, well that and being able to sign into my account on any console and furthermore access my content on several. As soon as Nintendo open up tr account lock, I'll buy a second Wii U for our play room. Until then, my wallet stays closed on that second console Nintendo I'm afraid.
Beig able to add funds, browse both eshops, make purchases and initiate downloads to my consoles via access on my phone is a great step forward.
Bringing a form of Nintendo direct via a "NintendApp" would be great though. Bringing their brand name to the mobile market but NOT their content. Marketing aim videos of coming content, news of offers and such. Design 99p games, eg Duck Hunt on an iPhone, top down mario kart with only 5 tracks. Stripping a Nintendo licence down to a basic micro-play game that works within the NintendApp so the consumer is buzzed with WiiU/3DS news and ad's when they boot the game so have the option to branch off to the eshop for further info Everytime they use their mobile. Use the eshop as a marketing window for tr world and not just exclusive to the current hardware owners.



Lord said:

In the uk we don't even have tvii so they should work on fixing that rather than putting reggae up in hotels across the USA.



Zael said:

They simply have to introduce a nintendo phone as next gen hardware
The 3ds can close the console only era, next they should produce something like a smartphone with a sd card slot to insert games
I would be the first to buy a smartphone like that
Next they could also produce a console only version, of the same hardware, to sell at a lower price, like the 2ds.
This is the only way for them to enter the mobile market with an exclusive hardware
Otherwise they simply have to make app for ios or android



MadAdam81 said:

Companion apps for Nintendo games that have mega advertising for Ninty.
Also, a small game (ie Mario gem puzzle game) that gives you bonuses if you link it with your Wii U account, also mass advertise and even include competitions to win a Wii U and games.



DESS-M-8 said:

I would day one buy a NintenPhone:

  • Exclusive games and software
  • Linked to my Account, Wii U, 3DS, Club Nintendo and Nintendo Premium
  • upgradable memory via SD Card.
  • clam shell design that opens 360' so can house touch screen (obviously) a circle pad and actual buttons. HATE playing games with virtual buttons on touch screen.
  • mp3 manager software so can import from iTunes. Could even run iTunes.
  • web browser software and email integration app
  • camera, video,
  • Nintendo wallpapers and ringtones preloaded, can buy exclusive ones released over time.

£350-£450? Sold



Nintendboy14 said:

I would love a nintendo phone/tablet device. There is untapped potential. Pokemon n classic nes n snes games on it n check ur miiverse. Nintendo needs this!!!



Antisham said:

@Nintendude789 I see your point, but adaptation is necessary for even Nintendo. I'm assuming most people who comment here are Nintendo fans, although not forgetting there is a young market segment that will grow up using smartphones and tablets, so positioning Nintendo right in the middle is a good strategy. I too would love them to stay purely with handheld hardware, but I don't think it will happen!



banacheck said:

So what some of are saying you would like a Wii U App like this:

The PlayStation App lets users access their profile screen. You can communicate with other people running the app as well as with PS4, PS3 and PS Vita users. You can see your PS friends list, send and receive messages, send and respond to multiplayer game invites, compare trophy cases, and other social networking functions. It issues push alerts for these functions on an ongoing basis so you’re always connected.

Going deeper, the PlayStation app lets you remotely purchase and download a game to your PS or Vita from anywhere in the world. It can be used as a second screen while playing a game on your console, as a console controller, or as a keyboard. These features are available for any games that are developed with the features in mind, in any combination.

If Nintendo released an App like this for the Wii U i would use it because some of the stuff is very handy, i know i'll be using this App when it release on the 22/11 for my PS4/PS3. You can also remotely download games from your mobile, so when you get home everything is ready to go on your PS4/PS3 etc. This is very handy, I hope this is the kind of thing Nintendo is on about for the Wii U,



Moshugan said:

I wish Nintendo would make apps that work in conjunction with 3DS and Wii U games!
Here's a few examples:

  • Some sort of easy social app for Animal Crossing would be handy.
  • A proper and robust Pokédex app would be a huge must-have! It would be awesome if I could use my phone to easily check type match-ups and other useful info during a match.
  • An eShop app, or some sort of ''Nintendo Channel'' for easy access to Nintendo game videos and even make purchases on the go.
  • And of course a Miiverse app has been wanted for so long.

These kind of useful apps that would make a good use of the smartphones but still focus on Ninty's hardware and software would be the way to go!



rjejr said:

@Zombie_Barioth - "What they really need is a news app"

I just checked the Google store, and a bunch of stuff came up - animated tvshow, a book, etc., but yeah, no "Nintendo" app. they should at least have one that opens up to the webpage. Or opens up to a choice of Wii, Wii U, DS or 3DS news and games. Odd they don't. To be fair, Sony or PlayStation don't have an app either, but Sony seems better at getting the word out.
An eShop app would be nice. And where's Miiverse?

Oh well, maybe all the NES ROM apps are pissing them off?



Luna-Harmony said:

Well alot of the tablet games people download are short junk.
If nintendo did realise games for tablets they would be a major force and nintendo would take off bigtime again.
I think it would be a great idea to put games as download for mobile phones and tablets.
I remember when the wiiu came out it sold out people had to wait for more instock i just think itwent wrong jan/feb with lack of games they took thier feet of the gas pedal.



Darkness3131 said:

I like that they want to keep the focus on consoles and games and not mass generating apps. Sounds good Nintendo



JaxonH said:

Hmm, you're right. I don't think I realized how harsh my post came across when I wrote it because I wasn't in the best mood last night. Now that I re-read my post, I see how condescending and bitter it comes across. I can always count on you to keep me in check when I step across the line lol.

Ok, what I meant and what I should have said, is that there is nothing wrong with playing whatever game floats your boat. If it entertains you, awesome. However, there is no denying that the majority of smart phone games are highly inferior to games found on dedicated devices. And the majority, not all but the majority of mobile gamers are ok with simple, mindless games like dragging a basketball in a hoop and stuff like that, games that would probably put people like us to sleep (when I say people like us, I mean people who game for a hobby and are regularly exposed to more engaging experiences with a higher barrier of entry skillwise).

What I meant to say was that most mobile gamers won't buy any console, regardless of how great it is, even if Nintendo leads them on with samples and morsels on mobile devices. Reason being, they're already entertained with the simple, cheap games. It's hard for someone like me to understand how someone could be entertained by what is, in my opinion, worthless games. But I've been exposed to complex gaming for years, so it takes more to hold my interest.

I just think it would be a waste of Nitnendo's time to try to entice mobile gamers. I could be wrong. I could be TOTALLY wrong- I guess we'll find out in a few years. I just think it would be like trying to convince people who taste samples at the grocery store on Sundays to join a wine tasting club. Those people are only sampling what's offered to them because it's convenient, free, and they didn't have to go out of their way to obtain it. Likewise, mobile gamers (most of them, anyways) only game because it's convenient, free (or close to), and they don't have to go out of their way to obtain it.

I'm basing my viewpoint on multiple ex-girlfriends who were Farmville fanatics and addicts, but would never even consider spending their money on an actual gaming console.



Capt_N said:

@JaxonH: "Those people are only sampling what's offered to them because it's convenient, free, and they didn't have to go out of their way to obtain it. Likewise, mobile gamers (most of them, anyways) only game because it's convenient, free (or close to), and they don't have to go out of their way to obtain it." Very good point.

I wouldn't be a bit surprised, if in a few years, Nintendo had their own mobile. Like @ultraraichu said, mobile seems to be a hot topic for investors. I would also not be surprised, if Nintendo stood their (current) ground, & refused to make their own cell phone, or for them as a third party dev. Either way/outcome would not surprise me.



rjejr said:

@JaxonH - Yeah, I knew that's what you meant.

I think you might need to start dating a better class of girl though

Oh, and I've eaten my fair share of free supermarket food, but I don't think I've ever purchased anything I've sampled either.

My free food analogy would focus more on demos though. I've played a lot more demos in my life than I've paid for games. Are you old enough to remember floppy discs and shareware? I think I still have my original 4-pack of Doom from Computer City or CompUSA, wherever I picked it up.

Fact is, kids these days are growing up playing games on their parents tablets and phones. Nintendo should expose these kids to their IP so that when they're old enough to realize how crappy most app games are they are already familiar w/ Nintendos games and want to buy a Nintendo system. Very few children born today are going to have their first exposure to video games on a home console or handheld, it's going to be on a phone or tablet.

I agree w/ you that today's casuals aren't going to buy a Wii U and an app isn't going to change their mind, but I'm thinking longer term.



JaxonH said:

I concede the point. I think you're absolutely right about planting the seed now, then watching it grow later in these kids lives after they're old enough to know better. That never crossed my mind, but now that you mention it, that makes perfect sense. And not just that, it seems that's a very cunning strategy indeed.

And as for a better class of girl, I concur. If only...

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