We've seen a lot of retro-inspired smartphone controllers hit the market over the years, with some of our favourites being the 8Bitdo NES30, FC30 and SNES30. As Nintendo sets its sights on success in the smartphone gaming arena with free-to-play versions of Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem, we might even see them put out their own range of smartphone controllers to support the games.
In the latest shareholders AGM, Nintendo's Shinya Takahashi said the following:
Physical controllers for smart device applications are available in the market and it is possible that we may also develop something new by ourselves.
On the other hand, I believe Nintendo's way of thinking is to look at whether action games are really not impossible (without a physical controller for smart device applications) to create and how we can make it happen to create such a game. I think we will make applications, and not just action games, in consideration of what best embodies 'Nintendo-like' applications, including applications for everyone from children to seniors.
We will launch various projects in the future. Advancing projects like these will require the involvement and support of our partners and not just our own human resources.
While such controllers might not be entirely necessary for the likes of Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem - both of which will likely work with only touchscreen controls just fine - it's clear that a port of Super Mario Maker would be tricky to play without some kind of traditional pad.
We've seen a patent today which seems to suggest the concept of interchangeable periperhals to which can be placed on the core touchscreen device. Could this be Nintendo's endgame? As always, let us know your thoughts with a comment below.