News Article

Nintendo Looking Into "Little Experiences" on Smartphones and Tablets

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

"It’s largely going to be much more marketing activity-oriented"

When it comes to smartphone and tablet content Nintendo has been painstakingly clear on two points in recent times — it has no plans to release its full games on the platforms, but is looking at ways to utilise the enormous number of smart devices to promote its hardware and games. Speaking to KING 5 News, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime has expanded on some of the ideas that the company is considering.

Fils-Aime has already indicated that opportunities for messaging and video content are on the agenda, but suggested in the interview that the company is exploring minor interactive gameplay on smart devices. He did stress, however, that substantial gaming experiences will only be found on Nintendo's own hardware.

It’s a topic that comes up all the time. It’s a debate that’s constantly had. We recognize that there are a lot of smartphones and tablets out there, and so what we’re doing is we’re being very smart in how we use these devices as marketing tools for our content.

We’re also doing a lot of experimentation of what I would call the little experiences you can have on your smartphone and tablet that will drive you back to your Nintendo hardware. It’s largely going to be much more marketing activity-oriented, but we’ve done little things where there’s some element of gameplay – a movement, a shaking, something like that.

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.

The subject of the Wii U came up, and Fils-Aime naturally adopted a long-game view, pointing to a positive 2014 line-up. There was an acknowledgement, nevertheless, that delays to products such as Wii Fit U had been damaging.

We still have a few more years to go. But the key to driving the installed base of a system is having unique proprietary experiences that can only be played on that system.

This [Wii Fit U] is a game we wanted to launch in the first quarter of this year, not the first quarter of 2014. The delay in some of this key software is really what’s been difficult for us. What I can tell you is that we have a very strong pipeline coming.

Are you optimistic about the upcoming Wii U lineup in 2014? In terms of the big question of smart devices, meanwhile, what kind of experiences would you like to see Nintendo provide, if any, on these platforms?


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User Comments (52)



goonow said:

So vague. Its hard to trust what nintendo says about the future. They have lied about stuff before. I trust rumors more than nintendo and am not so certain of their optimistic view of 2014. They sound like they are OK but you know their shareholders are tearing them a new one over the wii u.



2Sang said:

That's perfect, don't put new games on smartphones. HOWEVER, maybe putting NES and GB games on cell phones for a dollar extra than the eshop might be ok.



Gioku said:

I imagine quick little "flash game" type experiences; the sort that'd get people interested in buying Nintendo games.



idork99 said:

I am optimistic about 2014 but time will tell!

As with smartphones, I haven't bought a game for my iPhone says I've had my 3DS (06/11)! But I'm very happy to say that I am utilizing my smartphone during gaming sessions now thanks to Miiverse!

Simply put:
iPhone = great communication device
3DS = great gaming device
It's great that both gadgets I have in my pocket at all times can co-exist. I can play on-line with my 3DS while I communicate with the competition on my iPhone via Miiverse! Great use!



Goginho said:

lol I just came to the conclusion, that some analysts are going to, like usually, misinterpret this (whether intentionally or not) and start writing some shamefully false and discreditable articles of how Nintendo are going mobile i.e. Nintendo are finally coming to their senses and are bringing Mario to Smartphones haha



sonicfan1373 said:

I cannot see why Nintendo cannot make a smart device that also has a dedicated gameplay side to it. Certainly the hardware and software is there to back them up.

I see the future as Smart+1:
By which I mean a device that has "smart" capabilities (non-gaming apps, small gaming apps, efficient multitasking for these apps, and notification services for social apps even in sleep mode); by the +1 I refer to a single other dedicated function that works along side the smart side (I should mention this on a unified cohesive platform) with an application processor and a certain amount of ram dedicated to it.

In term of form factor they could add a capacitative touchscreen to the top screen and have the system made into a PSP GO style form where the top screen makes up the front-top layer of the device and the bottom screen and dedicated game controls make up the bottom portion; and so whenever you need to use the bottom screen and dedicated controls you simply slide out the bottom portion.



Retro_on_theGo said:

Oh just shut up and sell out already, Nintendo. You've done it before. Not to mention you can use the income.



unrandomsam said:

@idork99 Having played the remakes of Sonic 1 on Android and 3DS I am certain the Android one is far superior. The extras are much better. (Real Controller via usb otg cable on Android - plug it in and it just works turn off the touch controls). I suspect Sonic 2 mobile version will be the best as well should they choose to release it. (It has the hidden palace zone which was previously only available with an action replay and it is great).

All Stars Racing Transformed is also coming to mobile and I cannot think of any way it could possibly be any worse than the 3DS version which is absolutely dire.

I also recently picked up the Double Dragon Trilogy (3 Arcade games that all support a controller perfectly for less than half of the price of just NES Double Dragon).

Raiden Legacy (4 Raiden Arcade Games)


King of Fighters '97

Are also perfect with real controls that are supported.



andrea987 said:

Confirmed, next DS will be a mobile phone too. And it'll stream games to your tv. While cooking dinner.



XFsWorld said:

@idork99 Ha! That's the same exact thing I do! I also can still play Kid Icarus and MK7 on-the-go because I have my 3DS connected to my smart phone.



MrGawain said:

I'm betting on a Nintendo Direct App, a Miiverse App, an Nintendo E-shop App with gameplay videos, maybe a Wii U chat App for smartphones, and possibly some sort of pokedex.

Still can't see Mario on smartphones. At least not in this generation.



Mk_II said:

@goonow since the largest shareholder by far is the Yamauchi family i don't think Nintendo is worried too much about a shareholder revolt.



rjejr said:

@ikki5 - If you can't recall a lie you aren't even trying. At all. And delays count as lies BTW. How many times did Nintendo say they weren't going to drop the price of the Wii U this year? Guess what, thy did. And of course Reggie's most famous lie of all -

"It’s largely going to be much more marketing activity-oriented"

I've been saying this for about a year now and all I keep hearing is people saying I'm nuts. No, Nintneod should not make "real" games for tablets. But you can't ignore the future of gaming. In a coupe of years there will be literally a billion phones in the world ingnoring that is gross negligence on the part of any business.

One look at the top game in Japan and Nintendo would be moronic to not be looking at "app" games. And Dr. Luigi is an "app" game. It's freaking Tetris, the stupidest phone ever made can play Tetris. And NES remix. Make a home console. Make a 3DS 2. But chum the waters.



Stu13 said:

Nintendo related apps for both Android and iOS make bucketloads of sense. Hell, maybe even mobile games if they could act as teasers for full releases. A Nintendophone would be the end of it all, though. Done. Done in the way that Sega is, anyway. It would be their Waterloo. Or their Dreamcast, if you prefer.



Sean_Aaron said:

Why wouldn't I be positive about 2014? 2013 is ending and I've got a nice software collection on my Wii U already. I honestly don't know what people are complaining about...



kendorage said:

Yes, an all in one nintendo app with the icon being yoshi or marios face. Or maybe a widget that you can customize yourself and that gives you all the latest news, reviews, trailers, info on wii u and 3ds without having to search on youtube or nintendos official site. Millions of smartphones and tablets with a nintendo app is a good thing.



Deathspawn said:

I'd love to see some Nintendo made Live Wallpapers, widgets, and spin-off games. Like back in the days when they put up screensavers and games on their website. They could bring back the Yoshi pet from ages ago.



WiiLovePeace said:

Awesome! I've been waiting for Nintendo to put demoes of Nintendo-exclusive games on phones & directly show people why owning a 3DS & a Wii U is so much fun More fun for all!



ToastyYogurt said:

All I want is a Miiverse app for iOS, so I can get push notifications from Miiverse. That and an app that would let me buy eShop games from my phone to be automatically downloaded by my Wii U and maybe my 3DS (if it could handle that).



Artwark said:

@2Sang Just one problem.... I'm not gonna use a virtual D-Pad just to move left and right. That's what buttons do.



goonow said:

@ikki5 they lied about there being no price drops on the 3ds and wii u, they lied about the existance of the 3ds xl before it came out. I am not trying to bash nintendo (big companies lie all the time) just saying that you cant expect to get the truth from them.



takyon98 said:


just buy a bluetooth controller,some are pretty cheap and guess what...some have a stand to set your smart phome on AND have analog triggers unlike the wiiU controllers #problemsolved #LOLZ



NightmareXIV said:

I know it sound crazy, but I wouldn't buy Nintendo systems if they started making smart devices they're way too expensive for me.



Kosmo said:

Phone aren't powerful enough to play real games, games that meet today's players wants. The consoles that tried to mix in too many things with portable gaming ended up being mediocre at everything, like the N-Gage and even the PSP and Vita.
When people need a quick fix of gaming that lasts 5 minutes, they'll play Angry Birds, but to play a REAL game like Mari Kart, you need a good sreen, a good grip on the console, a good processor in the system, and buttons, not touch control that messes-up everything.
Nintendo is never going to go for half-baked games that control like garbage. They have standards, and that's what their public expect of them. The other companies can do lazy ports like Sonic Transformed on 3DS, but Nintendo won't.



SuperCharlie78 said:

Using the huge install base of smartphones for marketing purposes is a good idea, I agree with them.
About the line up, we're all looking for 5 and 5 only titles in 2014, with Yoshi and SMT X FE buried together somewhere...



Tomires said:

@Kosmo Not powerful enough? Really? A quick look at the spec sheet of your latest iPhone / pretty much any mid-high end Android device will prove otherwise. Unless you're talking about low end knock-offs that is. 3DS, on the other hand, is MASSIVELY underpowered.

So no, it's not about phones not being powerful enough, it's all about the interface. You simply cannot experience "REAL" games with nothing but a touch screen and a few gyroscopes.

I would also like to counter your opinion about Vita. It's far from mediocre and I ended up using it more than my 3DS. Maybe you should try one before drawing into conclusions (unless of course you've owned one in the past six months).

In the end, no game from this year (apart from GTA V that is) can top Link Between Worlds.



Raylax said:

I can imagine them creating a "Nintendo Channel" app like the Wii had - game trailers, media, Nintendo Direct footage etc. That could be a cool way to get news out.

Whatever they make, I hope they make a Windows Phone version as well as the typical Android / Apple versions. Windows Phone (and particularly its Store) is awful, and that's from someone who legitimately likes Windows 8, but some of us have one and desperately require something to make the purchase seem at least somewhat worthwhile. Would be nice to open the store page and see something in the Top Rated lists that isn't an awful bootleg Mario endless runner (because there's pretty much nobody other than bored 14-year-olds who have any interest in developing for it - and seriously like 80% of the "top rated" things in the store really are dodgy unlicensed bootlegs)



Warruz said:

I really hope they just Build Miiverse to become more of the Nintendo Twitter. I would love that on my smart phone if they can make Miiverse a bit more conducive to conversation.



JtotheY said:

@rjejr Are you serious? They can't just say: yup, there's a price drop coming! No one will buy the system untill the price actually drops.. so if there are rumors six months before they want to drop the price, they'll lose six months of sales.



rjejr said:

@JtotheY - "Are you serious? They can't just say: yup, there's a price drop coming! No one will buy the system untill the price actually drops."

Am I serious? Are you serous? They can't say there's a price drop coming? Did you know they announced the price drop August 28th, almost a month, more than 3 full weeks, about 24 days, before the price drop on Sept 20th? But no, they can't announce a price drop is coming, then nobody will buy the system. Brilliant.



MadJay1664 said:

Nintendo just bring out a DS phone hardest thing would be keeping the shops in stock!!



unrandomsam said:

@Tomires You can just plug in a pad to any recent Android via an otg cable just works. (Sometimes remap buttons if you need to.) or get something like a Moga it is a solved problem for Android. (I only use an Android tablet will get an ipad if the controls are improved to the same extent). Thinking about building an adafruit bluetooth Saturn pad to use.



Kosmo said:

@Tomires I do own a Vita, and a PSP, and my honest opinion is that I never should have bought them. They are soul-less, game-less systems that oddly fit in my hands. The back-touch screen is a complete disaster, it's akward to use and the system itself is unintuitive. It lacks any kind the savoir-faire Nintendo puts into their own systems and games. Basically, it's just an underpowered PS3 with a gimmick. When I play the PS3, I like to be in my couch and look at my TV, not play it in short bursts but for some time. Yet, that's what portable gaming is all about and the Vita has understood nothing about it. And the games... the selection is dire to say the least...
I still stand by my ground on the phones not being powerful enough. They do a thousand things at the same time, and can't (I'm pretty sure) handle a modern game without slowdown. The 3DS, despite its being underpowered, is all about gaming. Phones will slow down, maybe crash, if they try to run a powerful game. Square-Enix said recently phones can't handle FF7 yet. Given they'll try to make big bucks on EVERYTHING, I'd trust them.



Capt_N said:

I don't know if there will ever come a time when Nintendo will make their own "smartphone". Reason being, do their current, & will their future shareholders, & others in charge, believe that their target market is ripe for it? In regards to usage, & widespread ownership of "smart" devices, enough to penetrate that market with their own variety of "smart" device? If Nintendo's target is/are kids, & families, then that is fully debatable, since not everyone owns a smart device.

On the other hand, I see this currently-marketing-only as, like Obi-Wan, a step into a much larger world. Nintendo will eventually jump into the world of smart devices, I feel, when they feel that they should, & when that time comes, they will probably have their own device more directly in competition w/ the other smart devices on the market then, compared to the more indirectly competitors game-dedicated devices to smart devices that we have on market now. This is all speculation on my part, & subject to change.

Then again, Nintendo right now operates on the unique-hardware concept, rather than an "anything you can do..." approach. That approach hasn't seemed to be their focus, since the SNes. That march-to-the-beat-of-their-own-drums has helped them, & hurt them, too.

Time will tell.



L3v3L1 said:

Nintendos problem is that probably 95 percent of there catalog IS already available on smart phones and tablets. And they don't receive a dime off of it.
Snes emulator has been on the top paid apps on the playstore forever.(just to mention one). Keeping full games off smart phones is a good idea but the thievery must be stopped. Or if you can't beat em....... you know the rest.
Nintendo gamer and shareholder.



TristanRW said:

As far as apps you can download from a market place. I don't think Nintendo will do that. But web based apps I can see just because they're already doing it. For example, bookmark both and on your phone then make a link to the websites on your phones homescreen. They both show up just like apps but just link you to the sites.



Tomires said:

@unrandomsam Well, that may be a solution, but it requires lugging around yet another piece of hardware and doesn't work universally across all games. Shield is great, but it's way too huge.

@Kosmo That depends. I actually prefer huge AAA games for I usually play my Vita in a uni cafeteria/library between classes and those breaks usually last 1.5h (at minimum) and I don't want to take my laptop+charger+gamepad/mouse everywhere to get my gaming fix. It already has a reasonably big library of original titles + PSP (didn't really like the system tbh) + PSone (to get your FF fix). That coupled with incredible video playback options and a /useable/ browser are more than enough to warrant a purchase for me.



Kosmo said:

@Tomires We obviously don't have the same tastes in games. Doesn't mean either of our opinions aren't valid. For me, the Vita is as weak as the PSP was, I don't enjoy the so-called AAA games and portable gaming is never going to go all out on phones. It's good that we have different needs though. That way, developers thrive to please everyone. (i like to think that)

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