News Article

Mario And Zelda On Mobile Could Bring New Players To Nintendo Consoles, Suggest Industry Analysts

Posted by Damien McFerran

Nintendo could make "billions" with its "treasure trove" of characters

Last week's dismal news regarding Nintendo's financials has triggered a wave of comment and debate, with many industry experts earning their keep by offering several different scenarios for getting the Japanese giant out of the hole it currently finds itself in.

However, the general consensus seems to be the same: Nintendo needs to move to other platforms to properly exploit its massive catalogue of characters and thereby generate the kind of profits required to keep its shareholders happy.

While many feel that Satoru Iwata should abandon hardware altogether — a notion which has predictably gone down badly with lifelong Nintendo fans — Tomoaki Kawasaki of Iwai Cosmo Holdings thinks that bringing its famous franchises to smartphones could in fact trigger a rush of interest in Nintendo's dedicated systems:

Nintendo should offer Super Mario or Zelda games on smartphones and tablets and raise money. If such games become popular, some people may want to play it on Nintendo’s machines.

BGC Partners' Amir Anvarzadeh delivers a similar message:

Nintendo has a treasure trove of highly recognized characters. They could make billions in carefully devising a strategy that could exploit its strength in content without the price destruction that would come from abandoning its hardware.

It's certainly an interesting approach — Nintendo could leverage its massive library of popular games with cheap (but highly playable) mobile releases while continuing to produce dedicated hardware, which would naturally host its most accomplished games. The hype generated by the low-cost, low-risk mobile releases could then result in new customers, keen to experience more of the same on a home system.

However, this approach isn't with danger. Not every console maker (or publisher) which has expanded to mobile has enjoyed bumper success, and there is of course no guarantee that Nintendo's games would appeal to a market raised on the likes of Candy Crush Saga and Clash of Clans. Moving to mobile could cheapen the Nintendo brand and cause ill-will amongst seasoned fans, as well as spread Nintendo's already strained development resources even more thinly.

What are your thoughts on this approach? Could Nintendo potentially use the massive mobile market to attract new players to its dedicated systems and generate much-needed capital? Or should it continue to focus on its own consoles and ride out this particular storm? Share your feelings with a comment below.


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User Comments (146)



Damo said:

@DreamyViridi Most analysts seem to ignore the idea that smartphone games could actually generate interest in Nintendo systems, though.



Tsurii said:

Tomoaki Kawasaki, go home! You're drunk

Why are so many people thinking it'd be good for Nintendo to try to get the casuals back? It worked with Wii, but they couldn't get them interested in the Wii U until now. If it was that simple to regain their attention, Wii U sales wouldn't struggle this much.



Kit said:

No serious gamer plays games on phones with on-screen controls, if they get a taste for what Ninty can offer then p'haps they'll get the real deal, but I doubt it. However expensive consoles/games seem to be on the way out, now is the day of the touchscreen tabby with very cheap/free to play games - and a generation of lame-gamers.



DreamyViridi said:

@Damo - True, but (and this may be bias talking) I don't think it's worth the risks. Yes, it could be a good way to give such smartphone users a sample of what Nintendo is like and could attract them to Nintendo consoles but that's if the concept were to actually work out.



banacheck said:

I don't see why putting Nintendo games on smartphone's would generate interest in it's hardware, by putting Mario & CO on tablets & smartphone's would kill off there hardware. You really think people that play on smartphone's now & again that don't buy console's anyway, would really go out and buy a Nintendo console after playing Mario, you must be out of your minds.



SeVok said:

Mobile platforms is no place for Mario & Luigi to roam, I hope Nintendo sticks to their guns, they are just as charming when it comes to software and last but not least their hardware. Don't want to see that going away. I still regret, even today, Sega is not in the picture anymore as a hardware manufacturer.



unrandomsam said:

Nintendo's modern games don't appeal much to people raised on Nintendo's own earlier games. (Problem is there is nobody else making traditional console games left).



Nomad said:

If people want to play Nintendo then people need to buy Nintendo. Simple as that.



Dave24 said:

Did mobile actually helped MS or Sony? I'm curious, because they must base it on something other than their empty heads with stupidest theories, right?... Right?

I can name few companies for which it backfired rather than helped bring new audience.



unrandomsam said:

@Kit So if you wanted to play say All Stars Racing Transformed. Other than the PC the only 60fps version is Android/iOS (Depending on hardware). And they both support controllers now so what is the problem ? The Wii U gamepad is useless out of the house. (Unlike say the Nvidia Shield).



Kirk said:

I just don't think the vast majority of Nintendo's games would fit on mobiles, certainly not in their current designs, because a touch screen simply cannot do the pixel perfect and extremely responsive controls of most Nintendo games justice.

Nintendo could make all new touch based games that use those characters and franchises, I mean Phantom Hourglass showed it is possible to make a great mostly touch based Zelda game for example, but that's all I would consider reasonable if they're going to use those established characters and franchises.

Other than taking away attention and value from it's own hardware, which is a very important consideration, I do think Nintendo could easily bring popular mostly touched based games like Brain Training, Nintendogs, WarioWare: Touched!, Advance Wars, Animal Crossing, Phantom Hourglass, a LOT of the DS games actually, to smartphones however. I haven't yet made my mind up if that would be better for Nintendo in the long run or not though. Nintendo would definitely make a lot of money from selling those games on smartphone but would it just make people even happier to stick with their new smartphones and tablets only or would it really make more people go out and buy Nintendo's consoles to get full access to the complete libraries of all those Nintendo first party exclusive games. That's the bit I'm still not entirely sure of.

Whatever it does, Nintendo needs to play to it's strengths if it wants to remain relevant imo.

Edit: Actually, you know what... If Nintendo simply released all those older games now on smartphones, since they've already had lots of success and made lots of money on it's own hardware, then I really don't see how that could be bad. As long as it sticks to only releasing games that have already been out on it's own hardware for a while and sold on those systems first. Like how you get a movie in the cinema first and then have to wait roughly a year before it comes to DVD/Blu-Ray and then a while after that to TV finally. So none of those platforms cannibalize the others. Yes, I think that could actually be the ideal scenario for everyone involved possibly.



Lance168 said:

Heres an idea. What if the put in Super Mario World and not SMB because that's only 8-bit, and for free, but put in ads of Super Mario 3D World! Why not?! Do this with A Link Between World to, but the game would be A Link to The Past!



Squashy said:

I'm a traditional kind of person and I would hate to see this happen. It would almost certainly make lots of money in the short term but I feel it would do more damage than good in the long term. Nintendo would never want to permenantly tarnish their reputation to make some quick money.

@Nomad Exactly! The best comment of 2014 so far!



Farmboy74 said:

Nintendo games on mobile platforms will lead to the end of Nintendo as a hardware maker. The Wii U name is bad, should have been a different name NES 2 or Super Nes 2?. Average consumer does not know its a new console. They also need to improve third party relations, a game console solely relying on first party games will always struggle. For their next home console take a leaf out of Sony's book and go and ask developers what they are looking for in a new machine.
They could also try and advertise the damn thing still see way more XBOX1 and PS4 adverts than Wii U.



Dave24 said:

@unrandomsam but Shield is useless, because it works in the range of wi-fi in home and you need to have gpu from 600 series in your PC to use it. Unless they changed something



divinelite said:

I just think rayman on mobile is good enough (but seriously I don't feel want to play it in console afterwards)... Maybe Mario will be something like that?

Oh or like Sonic Run



Daz-brum said:

If you are into nintendo games you buy a nintendo machine period i dont want to play animal crossing on my phone that is a special time for me and my 3ds lol. Nintendo keep strong your fans will stand by you.



maneauleau said:

I see a lot of people saying it would be wrong for Nintendo to put some of their games on the smartphones and while I respect that and understand that, I don't see anyone proposing an alternative way to regain profitability.

And that's the problem Nintendo is facing.

So ok no games on smartphones and for sure no games on concurrent platforms but then how do you make the extra money? I am sorry I don't have a proposition either then.



Guovssohas said:

Looks like mobile fanatics are desperate to play some Nintendo stuff on their beloved magic mobile. LOL. Go buy a Nintendo console.



Nomad said:

Nintendo will bounce back and they sure as hell won't put their peerless games on Mobile devices. They're too good for that crap.




This is why I think NES Remix (or a game like it) would be the perfect game to put on smartphones. It's got the same game play style as many smartphone games have. It's got that Cut The Rope or Angry Bird three stars achievement for beating levels with set goals style game play. Plus it provides little snippets of Nintendo games.



Guovssohas said:

If you really like to game and spend 500-600 dollars on a smartphone expecting great gaming, well you're doing it wrong IMO...



mercurio2054 said:

@banacheck i think the same, it can generate money (or more money) but not gain attention to the console market.

they can release some demos to the mobile market and buy the full version in the portable/home console



Pro-N-Gamer said:

Who wants to play a Nintendo title on touch controls? The feeling would suck badly and it isn't original at all... People who want Nintendo games at their smartphone can forget it! Nintendo won't give up that easily because the Wii U is having a hard time now.. If you want Nintendo on the go you buy a 3DS (still alot cheaper than a smartphone).



Nomad said:

@Maneauleau Release Zelda, release Mario Kart, release Smash Bros. release X, release Starfox, relase Metroid, release F-Zero, release Kid Icarus, release some new IP's that appeal to the core gamer and release the entire VC back catalogue and release them all soon.




@Pro-N-Gamer Unfortunately, I think this is the attitude that needs to change. While I agree that touch control gaming on iPhone and Android is absolute rubbish, the people the do game on iPhone and Android do not. If Nintendo can convince them they make great games that is exclusive to their hardware they can create sales. Nintendo should release something like NES Remix to help this.



Kyloctopus said:

I think Nintendo should bring Zelda 1 to IOS, because there are alot of gamers who do want Zelda, as much as they want Pokemon on their phone.
And it's not like people buy Nintendo systems solely to play retro games on there. In the case of Zelda, it's not selling them hardware, so they're better off releasing it on IOS, or Android to make some good money on it.
Just, as long as it's also compatible with the pro controller. Or the Moga-Pro.
The mobile industry does not get as much respect as it deserves, and if Nintendo was on board, I think the industry would look alot brighter there.
I'd also want to see Flingsmash go to mobile platforms, because it wasn't too good on the Wii.



maneauleau said:

@Nomad you are right that we should wait since Mario Kart and Smash Bros are around the corner and potentially they attract new players. But what if it's not enough? Isn't it better to try and think now about alternative solutions?

I think Nintendo should push harder is effort to attract loyal 3DS owners to the Wii U and vice versa before deeper phone interactions.



Tsurii said:

@Nomad well if they release F-Zero and (a Prime-like) Metroid, they've got at least 5 big "hardcore" exclusives already (together with X, Bayonetta and Hyrule Warriors - Dynasty Warriors not that easy after all ^^)
I never played Star-Fox, but I could imagine that's fitting into the hardcore niche, too, if they do it like I would think (or if Kamiya gets to do it)



maneauleau said:

Nintendo capitalize on what you have, offer cross platform buy and cloud saving to play seamlessly from one device to the other. Unleash the VC games, make it rain and make it cheaper too.



Kirk said:

To separate this point from my previous post:

If Nintendo released all it's older DS touchscreen-centric games now on smartphones (Brain Training, Nintendogs, WarioWare: Touched!, Advance Wars, Animal Crossing DS, Phantom Hourglass etc), since all of those games are perfectly suited to smartphones and tablets and have already had lots of success and made lots of money on Nintendo's own hardware anyway, then I really think that might actually be a very good idea.

As long as it sticks to only releasing games that have already been out on it's own hardware for a while and sold on those systems first, I think it could be onto a winner.

This would be similar to how many people pay to see a movie in the cinema first and others wait roughly a year before it comes to DVD/Blu-Ray or some wait a while after that to finally watch them on TV. With each consumer type paying for their preferred entertainment solution and in many cases a lot of them even pay for multiple or all of those options. None of those platforms cannibalize the others and each movie effectively has three periods of full publicity/exposure and repeated high sales/volume.

Nintendo could effectively do something very similar here and if it even offers some kind of cross-play solution where buying the original version on it's own hardware would eventually give people free access to the game on other platforms too, as and when they become available for those platforms, then it really could be a great added incentive to purchase Nintendo's consoles for both the early access and that additional exclusive cross-play bonus.

I think that could actually be an ideal scenario for everyone involved; More people get access to some great Nintendo games/franchises, with core fans getting the first/earliest access (with potentially the added bonus of free cross-play also) and Nintendo makes even more money which obviously keeps the company and the shareholders happy too.

Something like that could work very well indeed.



mookysam said:

I've said it before and I'll say it again; they're missing a trick not putting select NES and SNES games on smartphone devices. They could integrate NNID in app to facilitate cross-platform support. Buy the game once and play it on any device (unlikely, but still). They could even do "taster" games that sample their big console and handheld franchises to encourage uptake of the "proper" versions. It doesn't need to open a floodgate. Sony and Microsoft both have smartphone apps that let you see friends, messages, trophies etc and even connect to their consoles. Nintendo could do something similar.



Seren77 said:

I noticed on 3ds eshop they even have a section called, 'games with buttons' dedicated to mobile ports



Kyloctopus said:

@Nomad It's not as easy as "Release this and release that" because when they released Pikmin 3, and 3D World, it didn't sell millions. If they sell to a marketplace as big as IOS, I can guarantee they will make money on ports of NES games. It's almost too easy for them.
No one is telling them to release big budget games on there. THAT would lower their name. But putting Zelda 1 on IOS will do no harm to the Wii U, 3DS or any future system. It's not like anyone who bought a Wii U or 3DS went to buy it specifically for Zelda 1.
It will broaden their audience. More people are aware of the Zelda series, and will likely buy more if they enjoy Zelda 1.
Take me for example, I have heard much praise to the Street Fighter series, so I bought it on IOS, and played it on Capcom's Arcade on IOS. It only costed me $2, so it wasn't any harm to start the series. It introduced me to a series I love, and who's to say it won't do such for Nintendo's Zelda series at the least?



DualWielding said:

I don't think Mario or Zelda would work on Smartphones but other Nintendo franchises like Nintendogs and Animal Crossing are truly much better fit for smartphones than for consoles



Kirk said:


None of those games were made for touchscreens so I personally see just slapping these old classic games onto smartphones and tablets for the sake of making a quick/easy buck as exactly the kind of thing Nintendo should NOT be doing. That's exactly how it WILL devalue it's properties and brand, as well as frustrate many hardcore Nintendo gamers too, imo.

See my post just above yours for what I think would be a better idea...



ajcismo said:

I can't wait to play Urban Champion on my Android...

Ok, that was a joke... sort of. The (mis)-handling of the VC has been a big sticking point to me and many many other Wii U owners. The service is completely under utilized with its drip method of releasing outdated software.
Except that all of those NES titles would be perfect for phone use, and a great start to generating some cash and giving those stock prices a boost. Even include the precious SNES in there too as more options (and dollar generators). Who cares if its on phones? These games have been out for 15, 20, 25 years. Its not like its a new experience playing any of these on our current TVs, just convenient. I would gladly buy again, for the 10th time, Zelda 1 for my phone if given the opportunity. I know I'm getting a quality product, not some emulator that could crash my phone if something goes weird.
Give the people who own the U something with more meat on it... Like say, for instance, EVERY OTHER NINTENDO RELATED CONSOLE. N64, Cube, Dreamcast, Saturn, etc (even the Wii)... they should all be available for digital download. And release games in large bunches, consumers want options, many options. Its the world we live in now and Nintendo needs to adjust.



unrandomsam said:

@Dave24 Yeah but you can use it as a pretty powerful Android device with physical controls away from your PC as well. There is all the Metal Slugs / Blazing Star / King of Fighters 97 / All Stars Racing Transformed / Crazy Taxi / Jet Set Radio / Sonic / Sonic 2 / All the PS2 Grand Theft Auto games. (All much better than say eshop exclusives and nearly all NES games). Retail 3DS games are so easy that they are terrible value for Money. Whole boatload of diverse stuff that is pretty good - supports physical buttons.



K-Gamer said:

Before getting any of these games on mobile, lets try getting them on virtual console first.



Shworange said:

What if they tried a few touch control games on ios that they currently are not making money on? What about Phantom Hourglass? Improve the graphics a bit and release via mobile as a trial to test the waters and keep investors happy. The game already made its money. NES super Mario bros requires real buttons and is still making them money on Nintendo platforms.



GuSolarFlare said:

yeah there's only one problem in theory. when people get used to the supercheap mobile games they refuse to pay much more than $5(no matter the currency, except the ones like yen that have higher numbers) to get a game so Nintendo would be hurt in the end.....



ikki5 said:

Why would this bring new players??? if people wanted to play the game and it showed up on their phone, they'd get it on their phone and not bother buying the system.

Even if they got popular, why would they buy a console and play it on there? The game is already on their phone and it is not like the Mario and Zelda are a unknown series. You are show anyone Mario, Zelda (or Link) and they will be able to tell you who they are and where they came from.



Fill-N said:

NES games are nothing like what makes money on mobile. they need buttons and would have no appeal at all with touch controls.

what nintendo do that would fit touch controls, and then have a chance to shine alongside today's mobile mega hits are games that already meke them a lot o money ON 3DS, like animal crossing and pokemon. and having this kind of games for 2 dollars on mobile would possibly not give them more money, and no one happy with these games on mobile would want an expensive console that runs expensive games.

nintendo could create some new games for their franchises specifically for touch divices, and they would probably be great and make them some money, but that still wouldnt bring anyone to any home console. mobile and console just have completely different nature.

i agree. nintendo operates on 2 markets and while 1 is going bad, the other one is just fine. they should link both systems deeper and deeper until all 3ds owners look at the wiiu as something that just seem natural to have too.



Fink-Nottle said:

Why not make some cheap braindead & addictive smartphone only games with Nintendo characters?

It would be hit or miss, but it's worth the risk.

But for this to work, they would need to release a dozen of these.

At least it will keeep Nintendo alive in mind.

Maybe even some minigames of console software?

Releasing old games however, is a really bad idea. It will throw off retro gamers from buying Nintendo consoles. The idea/hope of a good & functional VC is one thing keeping Nintendo alive.



DreamOn said:

PachAttack beat these idiots to this punch line years ago, and he's more famous, more quoted and more disliked by Nintendo fans than these guys ever will be. Ya got nothin!



SphericalCrusher said:

Horrible idea. And just thinking about all of this just upsets me. Whoever says Nintendo should drop hardware altogether is a complete moron. The 3DS is proof that they still have it. Worst case scenario, I could see them dropping home console to go full mobile, and even that I would hate. But still, why would they drop the handheld space when they have been kings of it since the day the Gameboy launched? Also, putting Nintendo games on mobile is a horrible idea. In the article you say that it would entice people to play Nintendo consoles... but why? If they can play Nintendo games on a mobile phone, why would they want to buy something else to play them? Maybe if they put say, LTTP on mobile phone, to encourage people to buy Link between worlds, etc... but I don't see that being the case. People should just stop shouting doom anytime any company is in trouble.



BakaKnight said:

I found kinda funny how we are hearing someone suggesting to just put Mario on smartphones while Iwata recently stated clearly that Nintendo is already considering the smartphone market, but the approch can't be as easy as simply put Mario there.

It's like we heard the official reply before the question was even raised XP

Nintendo is not blind, they know that the smartphone market can't be ignored lightly, but even approching it lightly could bring more damage than benefit.
Personally I would prefer them to stay away from those devices, but you can't stay in the market by ignoring where the money are flowing, same happened when Nintendo had to give up and accept more violent games on their consoles or adding more online services to their games and hardwares.

The only thing I hope is that Nintendo will again find the right compromises for keep be the company we love while getting the money for continue to fight and be strong in the gaming industry.



Stu13 said:

They'd have to be really careful about which games to port over. My mom loves Candy Crush and Angry Birds, so just for the sake of research I asked her to have a go at the VC version of Legend Of Zelda. She was getting slaughtered and was completely confused as to what she was supposed to be doing.
"You just need to explore, Mom."
"But they don't tell you ANYTHING."
I think it is safe to say that a sizable chunk of mobile-only gamers would actually be turned off on the idea of owning a Nintendo system by some of the original titles. She had considerably more success with the first two SMB games, to the point of inquiring as to whether Nintendo still made games similar to them. Risky proposition here, folks. It seems like it is equally likely to go over like gangbusters as it would be to blow up in their faces.



element187 said:

@Kirk VC is a great bullet point for selling consoles, so releasing them on smartphones *wouldn't be a good idea, perhaps just the lower rated games like Golf, Tennis, Ice Hockey and the original Mario Bros. putting the NES Remix game on smartphones would be a good idea... Give people a small bite sized taste of Retro Nintendo games, if they want to play them in their entirety, they need to buy a Ninty device.



Kirk said:


Yes, those VC titles are a great selling point for Nintendo's consoles, no doubt about it, but none of those VC games are suited to touchscreens and I just don't think simulated controls are good enough for those classic Nintendo games.

I'd be happy to see some of the touchscreen focused DS games on these phones and tablets but Super Mario World with a virtual d-pad and buttons is just going to come across as a cheap cash-in imo.



the_beaver said:

Come on... Nintendo don't need extra money. After the last generation they must be utterly loaded.
They just need to use some of that money in advertising the WiiU. That's the only thing they seriously need to do...



KKSlider said:

Nintendo should do the following:
1. Advertise more
2. Figure out what US consumers want through research
3. Keep up to date on graphics for consoles
4. Have a "traditional" controller that attracts gamers



Razzle said:

Yeah I can see it now. Nintendo will release Phantom Hourglass on iOS for what.... $50? Your average iOS user laughs and goes back to their free 5 minutes of Candy Crush or Clash of Clans. There is no brand loyalty with iPhone games, only a bit of recognition and a cheapening of the Nintendo brand. Damage to your brand is the worst kind of damage, they should remain a specialists gaming company as always. There is plenty of room in the market.



whodatninja said:

@MagikarpSplash 1. Agreed, though their ads have gotten better
2. Not sure what that would help but okay
3. Graphics arent everything
4. It does. It's called the Pro Controller.



QBertFarnsworth said:

The 3DS sold lower than Nintendo had anticipated, but that's probably more an error in their budgeting than a knock on the system. For the most part, cell phone games are not taking away from portable gaming because playing an endless runner or Angry Birds is not the same experience as playing Zelda A Link Between Worlds or Mario Kart 7.

The old saying is you buy a Nintendo system to play Nintendo games, so in many ways, Nintendo is competing against itself. I've had several friends ask over the past year if they should buy a 3DS or Wii U, and the answer is hands-down the 3DS. It's cheaper, and it has more games. The reason the DS and the Wii worked as a pair is because each offered something you could not do on the other system. You couldn't play Nintendogs or Brain Age on the Wii, and touch screen gaming had yet to take off elsewhere. You couldn't do motion controlled gaming on the DS. Meanwhile, other than graphics, most anything you can do on the Wii U can be done on the 3DS, and outside of 3D, anything you can do on the 3DS can be done on the Wii U.

It seems pretty obvious that the next generation for Nintendo should take the next step beyond the Wii U. It should be a console that can hook up to your TV or become a portable. Right now, if I want to play all of the Zeldas or all of the Marios, I have to spend $470 on systems. If there are a ton of 3DS games coming out, I might have a dry spell on the Wii U, and vice versa. Instead of pumping out 10 first-party published exclusives on the 3DS and 10 on the Wii U, why not just put them all out on one system?



Mainer82 said:

The depth and breadth of said games would be so limited it would cheapen those iconic names. I would most likley give up on those games as I really have no interest in mobile gaming other than a dedicated system like the DS.



TheRealThanos said:

The movie "Analyze This" comes to mind...
But seriously: No, just no. It would be good for a short run, but will never help them in the end. Besides the iffy controls of mobile platforms and the tons of cheap games that they would get buried under it would so cheapen the whole Nintendo brand and that just isn't worth it.
Besides, they would then once again have to invest money into a marketing campaign to let the general public know that Nintendo games can now be played on smart phones. I say they can give that money a much better use by getting their current marketing campaign up to speed, where it should be.



ledreppe said:

I'm bored of these same old reports, the same old analysts saying the same old thing. It would be a disaster if Nintendo went down this line of thinking. People who exclusively game on smart phones and tablets WILL NOT go out and buy a Nintendo system just because they played Mario or Zelda on their device. They (smartphone/tablet gamers) have already made their minds up about what platform they want, they will just cry out for more Nintendo games on their smart phone and tablets rather than become "interested in Nintendo systems", in order to play more Nintendo games.

This would then lead down the path of nintendo becoming 3rd party, which is not what Nintendo needs. Nintendo games require hardrwae made by Nintendo, it's in the nature of the games, they wouldn't work on other platforms.

Analysts can keep beating their "other platforms" drum, but Nintendo will continue with their own hardware and releasing their games only on them, just mark my words you will see it when the current generation is done.



derickw69 said:

wrong the Vita has Skype...technically phoning someone with a Vita is possible so long as that person has a Skype account and has access to wi-fi



worldstraveller said:

I can see selling well on smartphones but won't sell the hardware (I think those that distribute mobile games want nintendo games on their smartphones, because it would be very profitable for them - but wouldn't be for Nintendo).
the struggle with Wii U, I agree with @Nomad - new IPs, VC games and their Nintendo only games.
some companies can be a saviors for the Wii U, Level 5 as one of them (look at what they did with DS), with Wonderflick on the way, it may inspired them, wonder flick is like perfect fit in terms of gameplay for the Wii U (they released a new IP for 3DS), Silicon Studio (since they're doing a sequel of Bravely for 3DS) and some others I can't think of it now.



Jese_1 said:

Maybe the thing to do would be to take a less "dangerous" approach: release games from the VC catalogue onto phones and tablets. They could charge the same as they do on the Wii U/3DS VC, so nobody who owns the console versions is being cheated, it could bring in a decent amount of money that would help cover the costs of developing for the 3DS and Wii U, and in the mean time continue to make dedicated new games that are only available on the 3DS and Wii U.



sonicfan1373 said:

Why not make new or smaller IPs or some apps based on larger IPs (like Pokedex; not games). This way they can some what appease shareholders (no shareholder revolts), make some revenue, and have a management that continues to focus on hardware.

Mind you though, I do not see this really attracting people to Nintendo's devices by itself (maybe some advertising in these apps and mini-games might) but it is a good way to avoid the full wrath of voting shareholders for a year.



Conkers64 said:

I've said it before, but there is no logical reason not to sell NES & SNES games on iOS and Android markets. The games are already being black marketed, so why not give the profits to Nintendo? Any profit made from the sales would find new and innovative content (consoles) from Nintendo. If you are concerned about touch control precision being an issue (as I am), then make the games auxiliary controller compatable. Finally, look around public spaces; what portable are most kids using? It's often an old iPhone or a tablet. If you want to rebuild the base, why not expose these potential users to the classics? It's a complete win-win.



Trikeboy said:

If they want some more cash, start releasing Gamecube games on the Wii U virtual console. Smash Bros Melee would go down lovely.



DilMan33 said:

Moving full versions of Ninty games on 'smart devices' won't do a damm thing, I am afraid.

I don't understand it. Nintendo already has the best selling video game hardware of last year. Moving them onto smartphones would just de-value their offerings. Besides Playstation mobile has not done a damm thing for Sony! And they are not exactly too keen to put Teraway or Gravity Rush or anything else that is a flop on the Vita to smart devices.

This after all the investment they have put into buliding their eshop. It just doesn't make sense at all. The future of Nintendo is their own digital ecosystem they are building. Invest in that, and take the losses now for future gain.



HyperSonicEXE said:

Software buttons, oh god no.

Analyst is partially right in that it's advertising the games and especially the characters. It would have a small pull, though nothing major. And using only retro games is just going to make Nintendo seem that much more washed up. Nintendo needs new IP's and remakes of older games to start off their own phone with good hardware buttons. Can't believe how bad the Xperia Play was...



sonicfan1373 said:


The issue is these smart devices do not come with any gaming buttons and that has a big impact on many games in many games on the VC which in turn has an impact on people's view of Nintendo.

Imagine a kid gets the SNES Super Mario World on an iPad, he starts playing the game and he he finds the touch controls are too frustrating, and so this just turns him off from playing Mario games on Nintendo consoles because he perceives them to be too difficult to control. Iwata, as a developer knows, it is right that you cannot just stick Mario on a smartphone because the gameplay due to the simple interface simply does not work as well on these phones.

If Nintendo wants to do anything on smart devices (short of selling controllers with screens for these devices which are mandatory for playing their games) then they have to build new experiences for the simpler interfaces on these devices releasing old VC games meant for tradition controls will just cause problems.



unrandomsam said:

@HyperSonicEXE The Xperia Play has a much nicer screen than the 3DS XL. Sonic CD on that is preferable for me to say the Sonic 3D Classic. The PS1 stuff worked pretty damn well just they didn't release hardly any of it. The problem it had was Sony not updating the firmware (So stuff without specific support cannot work) and mothballing it to try and get people to get a Vita.



unrandomsam said:

@DilMan33 The reason Playstation Mobile hasn't worked is because the new version of it is not supported on the only device with physical buttons. (And it seems to be mainly on phones not tablets where an external controller is more acceptable).



HyperSonicEXE said:

True on both accounts, but I had an Xperia Play for a year. In that year, the phone was slow as molasses to do, well, anything really. The hardware buttons' chrome wore off to ugly plastic, one shoulder button failed completely, and the D-Pad was starting to stick. There were also no good original games for it - I tried many demos.

I'm optimistic about Nintendo slaughtering the pitfalls of the gaming phones. I don't know if a phone could split resources well enough between phone functions and gaming functions, but there are visual processors and then the new 64-bit systems, so I think it could definitely happen, and 64-bit is the best time for Nintendo to jump in while there's a new "breakthrough."



Jese_1 said:

@sonicfan1373 To an extent I completely agree with you: there's a reason I game on consoles and not on tablets and phones. The thing is that there's no guarantee that anyone who buys any of these on a phone or tablet would have bought a Wii U/3DS to try out the consoles anyway, so I'm not sure that there would be any tremendous loss should someone not like the game.

Trust me, I'm not in favour of Nintendo going third party or of them dumbing down their games for phones and tablets, but in light of recent events I think that it might be a smart move to place selected old games (possibly the more arcade oriented games of the day, like Clu Clu Land or something) up for sale to an enormous market to help boost their financial situation. If done correctly it wouldn't amount to anything more than the weekly download update that we get, and is one way of broadening their horizons without tremendously dumbing down their new games for a smaller platform (a la Sega). But hey, it's just a thought.



Turbo857 said:

I don't believe Nintendo should offer old games its already published on a smartphone that's already on or should be coming to the Virtual Console.

Nintendo sells Super Mario Bros. for $5, so selling that on an iPhone for $5 could discourage people from buying it on Nintendo systems, so that's not going to happen.

What they'll probably do is make exclusive quick, fun, but bite sized games for smartphones using their characters. Maybe something like a chopped up NES remix offering Wii U ads at the bottom while people are playing this mobile minigame.

But they should avoid porting full games in their existing library to smartphones. They don't fit the popular free or $1 model very well either.



unrandomsam said:

@sonicfan1373 They already have a controller. (The Wii U Pro Controller) supports bluetooth they could just pop up a message saying you really should use one of these on every startup. And they are more than likely very profitable to make and sell.



Smitherenez said:

I am still waiting for a Nintendo branded phone. Or at least a DS with more phone like options like skype, whatsapp etc.



Einherjar said:

Maybe nintendo could make their own mobile gaming device, with all its known franchises on it, Lets call it the GameBoy, a play on words of the WalkMan.
And later, they could add a second screen to the device and give it a telling name like the "Nintendo Dual Screen" or NDS for short.
And sometime in the future, the age of 3D, they could make a 3D capable system with another clever telling name, the 3DS...
But who am i kidding, nintendo will never do that....
Guess we just have to play games that were legally bought on our systems till we get that dream like Nintendo handhelöd device, so we can finally enjoy nintend games on the go



Phle said:

They could make short free teaser games for smartphones and tablets. And to play more you'd have to buy the game and the console from Nintendo. I'm not sure it would bring any money though. I don't like the idea of seeing Mario and Zelda together with Fruit Ninja, Angry Birds and The Sims -Free Play.

To reach a younger crowd, they should have commercials. I know they have that in other countries, but not here. Air them on TV. Our country is screaming for something other than online poker and OMG sale commercials.



Chabbox said:

As much as I hate to say it, it should be done.
Exception: A few retro classics only.



UnseatingKDawg said:

As many times as these "professional" analysts say it, I will always say NO.

Nintendo's games are of much higher quality and should be played on proper hardware. Not phones with crappy touch screen controls.



G0dlike said:

If a dedicated smart phone is produced, that offers access to the eshop via your Nintendo network ID, under a unified account, I would be up for this. But otherwise, all it will do is simply cheapen the brand.



MoonKnight7 said:


But once they start, it becomes a slippery slope. It becomes one less reason to own a 3DS/Wii U, exactly what they want to avoid right now.



Zach said:

They would be crazy to not at least try it! If it didn't work, they could stop! No one calls Nintendo sell-outs for licensing to CDi once upon a time!



AdanVC said:

Or maybe Nintendo could make an exclusive partnership with a big Asian smarthphone producer like Samsung for example, take it's most succesful phone (Samsung Galaxy SX) in order to properly create a dedicated gaming smarthphone for Nintendo games... That would be acceptable I guess and of course the $$ benefits would be insanely good. What I would never ever support is Nintendo going 3rd Party and releasing their games on Microsoft/Sony consoles, if that happens... It would be the most dissapointing/sad day in the story of gaming industry



andrea987 said:

As someone said, NESremix-kindofgames or free demos for current games COULD attract interest to Nintendo systems. Whether the effort/money spent in doing so would be better used into advertising/developing for the actual systems, that's also a good point, methink...



seronja said:

well if you ask me, they could make a wario, metroid, f-zero, fire emblem, kid icarus, earthbound/mother all as 2D games, just make less known franchises available for smarthphones, tablets and e-shop & they might make some profit & introduce many new fan's on the exsisting franchises... also i'm sure that mario vs. donkey kong could be awesome on phones too just saying. and the idea of NES VC sounds wonderful!



Shambo said:

Maybe a very limited first-party Nintendo Virtual Console could do fine, or some short versions of VC games, like demo's of some sort. With trailers of new games linked. That could do the trick.



Dogpigfish said:

This would be an easy way to make a quick buck, but like most people I'm sick of the constant rehash. What's killing Nintendo is the constant rehash of the same games over and over again. It's a bland strategy that is failing. They need to create some strong triple a titles that are new experiences. I predict we won't get a new Metroid, but an hd version of Metroid prime because it's cheap to do. While I certainly wouldn't be dissapointed with that decision it will not work well for the brand nor bring new gamers to the system. I love wind waker, but this low cost strategy is failing.



unrandomsam said:

@Dogpigfish It is like they release the second it stops crashing and it looks ok with the levels like they are at that point. Lots of Nintendo games play like the clones of Nintendo games used to.



FilmerNgameR said:

It might be a good idea if Nintendo releases their own smartphone b/c the majority of people in my high school play all these crappy smartphone games on their devices and I've only seen a couple of people with their 3DS's so a Nintendo smartphone might bring millions of people to them, maybe...maybe not. But I totally prefer the 3DS by ALOT!!!



FlameTaJaDoru said:

Oh! I know!
More advertising! Try to reach audiences that they haven't reach yet. Maybe try advertising the 3DS & Wii U's VC. That can attract a lot of old gamers, searching for nostalgia...
Other than that, i've got nothing...



Crimson_Ridley said:

Man, I miss living in a world where gaming news didn't have to revolve around smartphone and tablet "gaming" all of time. It isn't the holy grail of the gaming world, no matter how much the media and analysts try to convince us so. It's awkward as hell to play and doesn't feel natural unless you're playing a puzzle game.

Nintendo don't need to port crap to the dark side of gaming, they just need to be more aggressive like they were 10-15 years ago. They've become complacent, and comfortable behind the pack just doing their own thing. Nintendo thrives when they have someone to compete against, like SEGA. Ever since SEGA went to disc based systems and then dropped out of the console market, Nintendo hasn't had a true competitor (yeah, they went against Sony for a while, but then the PS1 was primarily competing with the Saturn as the N64 was a cartridge based system, and later the PS2 had Xbox to contend with) to really get their teeth in to. They've gone through multiple innovations that no one else has challenged (at least not directly, as the Kinect is a different kind of motion control and the Move is... well, it's not really anything) so they've had a portion of the market to themselves.

They need to fight their way out of their comfort zone in the "Nintendo part of the market", and start chomping at the feet of the market leaders to really get people to notice them again. They should demand to be seen, considering they are responsible for us all doing what we do today.



Minotaurgamer said:

Anyone that actually agrees with this is someone with whom I disagree.
Nintendo going third party will be its end, not a solution. There's no huge and healthy market in neither the smartphones or the other consoles. That's delusional.
Sometimes I wonder why people keep listeining to the them



YorkshireNed said:

I think a sensible compromise would be for Nintendo to create some simple, stripped down mini games for mobiles featuring their big IPs. It would help build a bit of brand awareness and lure some more people into the cult of Nintendo. However, apapting existing classics into mobile phone format is a terrible idea. Those games need buttons and pads, not touchscreens.



Dauntless said:

Nintendo needs to make a cheap fun mario game for smart phones that is designed for the touch only experience. They have to practically give it away for free. The whole idea is to advetise Mario to the younger generation that didn't grow up with it. If Nintendo can get them hooked on Mario for the smart phone, than they will start to notice Mario on the big screen. But I really don't see Nintendo doing something like that.



TwilightAngel said:

well if they do dont put all the games put the classics like the original zelda game and mario not the other ones maybe put mario kart that will sell i would love to play mario kart on a iphone with other people but i dont know i feel like nintendo is giving up.



mantez said:

Nintendo releasing games on smart phones would be nothing more than a short term fix. When people lose interest and in they will be back in the same boat in six months.



NintendoROCKET said:

You guys really don't get it: If Nintendo DID start making/porting games on tablets/iPhones, they might make more of a profit then they ever have!!! Not to mention how awesome it would be!!



Cengoku said:

PLEASE nintendo, don't add your games to mobile. See the available emulators on the market place. Google accepted emulators like drastic ds and make you loose money.



stayclose said:

I think nintendo is waiting for the right time to strike. I doubt it would be a huge hit. There are so many other options out there. So maybe its not worth it for them money wise.



Tritonus said:

No. Just no.

People who are seriously into smartphone games are not gonna go for a console.


Just release a bigger VC library on Wii U already.



parkerjames said:

Nintendo can still bounce back just like they did with the 3DS...its time to focus on the WiiU in 2014 like the 3DS in bundles will be released..big games will come out..surprises in store ..sales will rise...going mobile isn't it...most folks who want Nintendo on mobile can just download ROMS



Slapshot said:

@Damo Ubisoft has done an excellent job bringing its Rayman franchise to mobile with paid apps. I've no doubt that if Nintendo did something similar, it would be highly successful, without tarnishing its brands - the mini games on the DS "Mario" titles would be a perfect fit for mobile releases.

I think this would draw people to Nintendo's consoles, most specifically its 3DS.



mamp said:

They could do some games but I say go original don't mess with your current franchises or make a game that gives people a little taste so they can eventually move on to the full experience on the Wii U.



retro_player_22 said:

Nintendo releasing their games on devices that had no buttons, no control, and the worst battery life in existence? Yeah very innovative, I rather play a Game Gear than to see any of Nintendo and Sega's games on any of them not-so-smartphones and crapblets.



agqwestern said:

there is no guarantee that taking nintendo games to mobile would boost hardware sales because if people can play a game on their phone (which they had alfready(the phone)) they wouldn't buy a console because there would ve no point



ZesuBen said:

Incorrect. Releasing any Nintendo game on a mobile platform would completely cease console sales.



sleepinglion said:

The best suggestion I've read today is port NES Remix to smartphones and tablets. And nothing else. It's totally a pick-up-and-play title with basic controls, achievements to unlock... it would do well. That's about the only thing I'd be willing to see jump to mobile as it doesn't cheapen the brand and has enough short levels in it to keep even the shortest of attention spans happy.



Le_Gazman said:

Can you imagine how horrible Mario Galaxy or Wind Waker would be to try and control on a tablet or smartphone? It just wouldn't work.

Nintendo could well release SOMETHING on tablets and smartphones but they'd need to be specifically tailored for them from the ground up.



Gridatttack said:

Mario/platforming games dont belong on a touchscreen. Because its hard to control and you will need for your device to be multitouch.

As for RPGs like pokemon and titles from the 2d zelda, they would actually work. Ive played crystal and the first zelda on a smarthphone and the touchscreen controls arent that bad.



DilMan33 said:

Once they get into the 'smart devices' business, there will be no letting go.The next Investor pressure will be micro-transactions up the a**!

Unfortunetely, this is what mobile casual gamers seem to be wanting! So something all 'real' game publishers should be avoiding, as there are so many mobile publishers operating on cow cash game designs as it is!!!



Nik-Davies said:

No one buys Angry Birds on the consoles when they can buy it cheap on the app stores, so why would they do the same for Mario.
Companion apps would be much better. For example, an app based on a Mario Kart themed pit-stop where players play mini games and then unlock stuff such as wheels e.t.c which would then be transferred over to the game to play. This is much better.



kereke12 said:

I think its a stupid idea, If Nintendo does this I have lost all respect for Nintendo and quit playing Videogames. People don't realize that Smartphone and Tablets gaming is ruining the Videogame industry.



B3ND3R said:

I already have all my favorite Nintendo classics on a mobile device.... It's called my 3DS.



allav866 said:

^this. The 3DS is popular enough, and it even advertises games on the Wii U via the eShop.



Razzle said:

If you say so, I don't follow the stats but I just checked the Top 150 games on the App Store and there is nothing over $7.99. Most are $0.99. Are you talking about games or other apps? I stand by what I said, a $50 game in iOS is not going to go well.



B3ND3R said:

@allav866 the 3DS is a juggernaut. I've had mine since launch, and I have been entertained by it ever since.. It just keeps getting better and better!



NightmareXIV said:

Ninty can do what they will with phones, but I won't get it, it won't feel like Ninty with playing mario on phones, and mobile devices it'll feel like an emulator, and less like a product.



FJOJR said:

Personally I don't see why Nintendo doesn't try and do what companies like Hasbro do and make television shows that are driven towards a young audience but ring with adults as well (i.e. MLP:FIM). Can you imagine a "New Super Mario Bros: New Super Show" with the live action segments intact? Definitely have a lot more story material to work with compared to the late 80's & 90's plus Charles Martinet leading the way. Then cash in on the popularity through games and even toys. Also a Wii U and 3DS channel that offers all the episodes of every Nintendo series made so far (kinda like what they do on the eshop with Pokemon). Mobile apps that do that could work too. I think that's a way to go without resorting to cheap mobile games.



MysticX said:

@64supermario i'm just wondering what Nintendo wants to do on mobile if they're not going to do games, a "look what cool stuff we're doing!"-app? (Basically their facebook page in app form), that would be unbelievably lame, since everybody has at least an internet browser and facebook on their tablet/phone already.

What i think Nintendo should do is:
1: Stop bloody apologizing for everything
2: Get to work on this whole online-thing, it's here to stay (Nintendo is a great company, but they're blind, deaf and mute when it comes to anything online)
3: Ramp up game development (And VC-games too)
4: Advertize: it doesn't matter what cool stuff you have when nobody knows about it.
5: Work to resolve the Flipnote and pokébank situations, the longer they drag on the worse you look for it, it took a huge stock-drop to drown out the pokébank-debacle, this is bad.



Alucard83 said:

Wrong! Playing a game on phone it's no good! The controls are WACK! and these games are just meant to be played with joypad and I refuse to get any kind of joypad to play on my cellphone. I'd rather play on PC then if you know what i mean. This is just flatlining! FAIL!

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