Nintendo Software Technology - as we've reported in the past - has endured a troubled history of late. The studio responsible for Wave Race: Blue Storm and Mario vs. Donkey Kong was once a major player in Nintendo's network of internal studios, but the costly disaster that was Project H.A.M.M.E.R. resulted in a massive exodus of talent and NST being limited in terms of what projects it was allowed to handle.
The studio is now primarily a digital-only outfit - it's last release was Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars on the Wii U and 3DS eShops - and we've been giving information on its next venture, a free-to-play title for Wii U and 3DS which will use amiibo to unlock content.
According to our source - who is familiar with NST and the project - the game is apparently finished and expected to launch at the start of 2016 in North America. It will be free to download for any player who owns a compatible amiibo, but we've been told that this is part of a special promotional campaign, which means it could become a paid-for release after a period of time. To confuse matters, Nintendo of Europe is apparently keen to release it as an entirely free download later in the year.
In other news relating to NST, a recent job ad suggested that the studio was looking into developing smartphone games. We've since found out that the ad listing was posted somewhat ahead of time at the behest of Shigeki Yamashiro, NST's president. Yamashiro is, according to our source, exploring the possibility of turning NST into a totally mobile studio, although it is understood that no mobile games have actually entered production as of today - NCL has yet to give its blessing to the proposed shift.
We've also been told that NST's staff are less than happy with the idea - which is hardly surprising, when you consider that many of them will have signed up to work on Nintendo's own hardware, not smartphones. As of now, it would appear that the proposal is still just that, and no firm decision has been made on the future of NST.
We should stress that while we have the utmost confidence in our source, some of the above details may be subject to change and should be treated as rumour until official confirmation arrives from Nintendo itself.