Nintendo's handheld strategy will make room for affordable, low-cost titles similar to those seen on smartphone formats like iOS and Android, The Nikkei reports.
Speaking with Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, The Nikkei has stated that the Japanese company is seeking to "expand consumer choice" with titles that could potentially cost just a few hundred yen. Low development budgets will be key to maintaining modest price points.
As well as taking inspiration from smartphone releases, Nintendo will also seek to "re-create" past classics for its 3DS handheld. Iwata didn't give any specific details, but what we could end up seeing is something akin to the way the original NES Metroid was re-tooled for the GBA as Metroid: Zero Mission a decade ago. These projects would presumably be low-cost as the basic game design is already available.
There are signs that Nintendo is already experimenting with cheap 3DS titles. HAL's visually simplistic platform puzzler Box Boy (shown in the image above) hit the Japanese 3DS eShop a few weeks ago for a low download price, and could be an indication of where the company is headed in this particular area.
Another key part of this new strategy is creating more free trial versions of full-priced games in the hope that players will be more likely to make a purchase if they are able to get a feel for the title beforehand. Nintendo already does this to a certain extent, but we could see trial versions being made available for all major retail releases.
The 3DS remains the company's most profitable platform at present, but reports from Japan suggest that the console's sales are slowing following its pre-Christmas Japanese launch. However, Iwata told The Nikkei that this was expected due to the fact that the system had not yet been released in the west. Iwata also stated that Nintendo expects to return to profit levels "more typical of the company" in the financial year ending March, 2017.
How do you feel about Nintendo creating low-cost, smartphone-style titles for the 3DS? Are you keener to see what the company can do with its vast collection of pre-existing IP? Would you welcome more trial versions? Let us know what you think by posting a comment.