Rumours of Nintendo working on its own mobile phone have been appearing on and off for the past decade, and recently we even heard that the idea almost become a reality back in 2004. The prospect of owning a mobile telecommunications device crafted to suit Nintendo's unique vision is a tantalising one, but the firm has so far refused to embrace the notion. With shareholders calling for Nintendo to make its titles available for a wider audience by embracing existing mobile platforms such as iOS and Android, you might assume that the time for creating a unique mobile device has long since passed, but we're not so sure. In fact, it could be argued that there's never been a better time for Nintendo to release a handset of its own.
Android has opened doors to all
Once upon a time, creating your own phone would have been quite an undertaking. The hardware side of things is just one aspect; you then have to develop your own software to power the device. Prior to the launch of iOS and Android, most manufacturers had to come up with their own bespoke operating system — presumably at a considerable cost — which would be overhauled with each new handset.
The arrival of Google's Android OS has changed that. Companies such as Samsung, Sony, LG and HTC have built new businesses on this dominant smartphone standard. These companies all have proud histories in the mobile phone arena, yet they were perfectly happy to drop their bespoke software and embrace Android because it grants access not only to what is arguably the world's best mobile OS — not to mention the most popular, with around 60 percent of the global market — but also because it assures compatibility with the millions of apps and games now available for the platform. However, by far the biggest attraction for these companies will be the ability to place their own unique user interface "skin" over the top of Android which — to the average person, at least — makes the phone look totally and utterly unique, even when compared to a rival phone running the exact same version of Android.
For these firms and the countless others which have hopped aboard Google's train, Android has been a successful way to grow their business, and the same could be true for Nintendo. By using Google's OS Nintendo could enter this sector with the bare minimum of risk; the only development cost in terms of software would be the creating of the "skin" which sits on top of Android. All other functionality — such as connectivity, security, memory management and developer APIs — is already there and handled by Google's code. This also means that Nintendo will be launching with a mature and well-supported software base, rather than having to do all the legwork itself.
Cheap, powerful phones are now a reality
While Apple's side of the market is primarily concerned with premium devices, Google's Android OS has found its way onto a wide range of products — many of which don't break the bank. Motorola's Moto G is a prime example of how cheaply powerful phones can be retailed for these days, and there are more low-cost challengers entering the arena all of the time. The key thing here is that despite the humble price, these phones still pack more than enough power for the average user.
Rather than aim for the upper end of the market, Nintendo could create a low-cost handset with younger users in mind, but one which has enough grunt to appeal to seasoned veterans as well. In fact, this strategy could help Nintendo wrestle some attention away from the iPods, iPhones and iPads which have arguably encroached on its territory in the past few years. Parents are giving these devices to their offspring because they play games and perform tasks that the likes of the 3DS cannot do either well or at all. A Nintendo phone capable of running YouTube, Skype and all of the other apps available on Android — as well as play good, wholesome Nintendo games — could supplant these pretenders and become a modern-day Game Boy successor. By keeping the price as low as possible, Nintendo could undercut the likes of Apple and soak up a considerable chunk of market share.
Sony has already shown the way, but Nintendo can do better
We know what you're probably thinking — Sony (then known as Sony Ericsson) has already tried and failed to create the "smartphone games console" with its Xperia Play device, which launched back in 2011. Billed as the "PlayStation Phone" (but tellingly never actually branded as such), the Xperia Play had slide-out physical controls, was compatible with 32-bit PlayStation games and ran Android. It was something of a flop, with UK retailers apparently suggesting that typical smartphone consumers — despite being hooked on Angry Birds — were "embarrassed" to be seen with a phone that has gaming controls.
Nintendo of course wouldn't encounter such an issue, as its core customers will be kids or seasoned players — neither of which will have any problem with testing their thumbs in public, as they already do so with the 3DS. Of course, Nintendo could opt for a buttonless phone or ship the device with a Bluetooth-connected controller, but we'd argue that a slide-out control interface is the best option. Touchscreen controls are fine for certain titles, but for the kind of games Nintendo would want to sell, there really is no substitute for proper buttons. The Xperia Play was able to cram six action buttons, a D-Pad and two analogue slider pads into its 16mm thick frame, and it's highly likely that a more modern device could achieve an even thinner casing. Physical controls do not have to mean a bulky handset, and would mean that the Nintendo Phone could offer the best of both worlds.
Sony's venture was ultimately unsuccessful, but it threw up some valuable lessons. Sony's lack of faith in its own brand was telling; the device should have carried the PlayStation name and should have been a conduit for past classics, rather than an Android phone which just happens to play a handful of PlayStation games. It was also too expensive, coming in at roughly the same price point as cutting-edge phones of the period. As we've already mentioned, price is key here — a gaming phone has to be accessible to younger players.
It's a low-cost route to potentially impressive sales
Even if Nintendo didn't develop a single new title for its phone, it could still generate a considerable amount of revenue on a dedicated phone purely from its illustrious back catalogue. The Virtual Console service has been running since the launch of the Wii and is packed with classic titles that many smartphone players would give an arm or a leg for; one only has to look at the impact made by the iOS releases of Sonic the Hedgehog and Secret of Mana to see the kind of demand that exists. Nintendo is sitting on a goldmine of software - much of which is arguably of a higher standard than can currently be found on iOS and Android.
Android's suitability as a retro gaming platform has been evidenced by to the countless (unofficial) emulators which exist on it. Consoles right up to the Sega Dreamcast are supported, and N64 emulation is especially good. There would be no technical issues with Nintendo bringing its old titles to the phone, and it would allow the company to monetize even more of its existing software. Pricing would have to change, of course — as Sony found with the Xperia Play, you can't expect mobile gamers to pay high prices for old games when they're used to spending pennies on their entertainment — but a high volume of sales would more than make up for this.
We will acknowledge that this is an area that would directly affect equivalent content on Wii U and 3DS. We also think it's fair to say, however, that Virtual Console momentum on Wii U and 3DS isn't what it was on Wii, with this generation bringing a slower stream of games and less supported platforms. The mobile space, however, is potentially a far more open and natural home for retro content; these are games that are often perfect for short dip-in gaming sessions.
Android is open, but only as much as Nintendo wants it to be
While being part of the Android eco-system means that Nintendo's phone would potentially be compatible with all of the apps and games currently available on the Google Play market, Nintendo can restrict this element if it so wished — and given the number of emulators and "adult" apps available on the Wild West which is Google's digital storefront, that may well be the case. The Japanese company could take the same approach as retail giant Amazon, which uses Android to power its own range of devices, including the Kindle Fire tablet and Fire Phone. These are totally compatible with Android apps, but Amazon has its own app store where developers can publish their wares. No additional coding is required here — the same apps can be pushed to both the Google Play and Amazon stores — the only difference is who controls and monetises that storefront.
This would be attractive to Nintendo as it could not only control what content its customers have access to, but it would also allow it to make money off the sales — something that wouldn't be the case if it were able to simply ship its device with full access to the Google Play market. Android gives Nintendo the flexibility to create the marketplace it wants to, while maintaining a connection with a large selection of pre-existing apps and games.
A Nintendo phone could become the centre of your world, not just for gaming
By creating its own "mobile eShop", Nintendo could release the entire Virtual Console back catalogue and unify its digital storefront across all of its devices. By linking them all together, we could finally see a time when games could be purchased on your phone and then queued for download on your 3DS or Wii U — something which Sony already allows via its own smartphone application and website.
However, gaming is just one aspect of this exciting venture. The Nintendo phone could be much more than just another device; it could potentially be the centre of your daily life, just like any other smartphone.
Functions which were previously exclusive to the 3DS and Wii U could be grown and matured using such a device. Take StreetPass for example; your Nintendo phone could pick up hits as you walk around with it, and these could then be transferred to your 3DS when you return home. In an ideal world we'd all have a 3DS in our bag, but there are times when this just isn't feasible — so a phone with the same connectivity could prove invaluable, especially if Nintendo wants StreetPass to develop into something more complicated in its next iteration.
Miiverse could finally get its dedicated application on Android and become something you use not just when you're sitting at your games console; freed from such constraints and bolstered with new functionality, it could become a genuine challenger to the likes of Twitter and Facebook, at least with Nintendo gamers. Then there's Nintendo's much-anticipated "Quality of Life" platform; a mobile phone, which is with you all of the time, is the perfect way to make this a reality. We're already seeing it with Apple's Healthkit and Google Fit — applications which monitor your activity throughout the day. Nintendo's already highlighted that its first QoL product will be a sensor that monitors sleep, but future applications in the health field are plentiful with a smartphone platform.
Mobile can be a third pillar, and perhaps more
Nintendo already has a mobile platform in the shape of the 3DS, and its dedicated consoles have been million-sellers since the '80s. Therefore, there's a convincing argument against Nintendo making a phone (and then naturally more phones to follow), an act which could prove fatal to its existing business. However, we'd counter that a phone wouldn't have to cannibalise sales of the 3DS. Nintendo could still reserve all of the truly massive titles — such as mainline Pokémon and Zelda outings — for its dual-screen console, so that the phone is more of a place to enjoy past classics, or bite-sized, eShop-level titles.
When Nintendo launched the Nintendo DS back in 2004, it claimed the console was a "third pillar" and not a threat to the then-dominant Game Boy line. This suggests that Nintendo was unsure that the DS would be a hit, and if it didn't find favour, the Game Boy name would still be there to pick up the pieces. The same tactic could be employed here; if the Nintendo phone didn't sell in the numbers expected, the 3DS range could be matured and expanded with the next handheld. However, if it proved to be a massive success, it would make sense to transfer focus from the rapidly-ageing 3DS and onto the newer platform — which could evolve to become something much more than a phone with gaming controls. The Nintendo phone could potentially become the only device you need in your pocket, replacing both your 3DS and your mobile communications device. It could be a games console which happens to make calls and access the web as a bonus, rather than the other way around.
Nintendo has to embrace mobile in one way or another
Our mobile phones are possibly the single most important piece of tech in our lives right now. They perform a wide range of tasks beyond making calls and sending text messages; they handle email, capture photos and video, play games and even arrange our schedules. They're a fountain of information and a social hub around which we build our lives. Nintendo has to be part of this, and it can be part of this — but perhaps not in the way its increasingly jumpy shareholders expect.
Putting Mario on the iPad is the easy route to quick sales, but the longer-term solution would be to create a unique piece of hardware which will appeal to the modern consumer. Ask yourself this — as much as you love your trusty Samsung Galaxy S5 or iPhone 6, if Nintendo released its own phone tomorrow that was of a high quality and affordable, would you not be tempted to switch? Granted, the Nintendo name is strongly associated with video games and this might prove to be a stumbling block with casual consumers, but it's not impossible for a firm of this stature to broaden its allure. Lest we forget that Apple was once solely a computer firm, yet now it sells a lifestyle which is desired by people who have never touched an iMac. Nintendo could perform the same trick.
Mobile phones have come along and largely replaced devices like the Game Boy — as well as MP3 players, cameras and PDAs — and it's clear that this market isn't going to change or fade away any time soon. Nintendo needs to get on board in some fashion, and we'd rather it be on its own terms with its own hardware.
What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you think that Nintendo's strength is that it sticks with what its knows, or would you be first in line if the Nintendo phone launched tomorrow? Vote in the poll below and be sure to share your feelings by leaving a comment.
Would you buy a Nintendo phone? (620 votes)
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Well out of 3 votes I was the only yes lol. If my contract is up and there's a Nintendo phone to buy I'm getting it.
Wait, what? This has never been Nintendolife's stance before has it?
I disagree, Nintendo produce dedicated gaming systems, not mobile. Shifting focus is not what they need to do at all.
The answer to "should they ?" is easily found:
-Name the producer of some of the best selling handheld gaming devices, that were sucessfull without any smartphone-esque features
The answer to both questions is: No, they shouldnt.
I think it would be a huge flop. People don't buy phones because of the games available on them. The buy the phone and then just play the games that are available. Phones aren't like consoles either, people don't really get multiple ones, and I don't think many would swap their iphone or Samsung for a Nintendo device. That seemingly ever-shrinking Nintendo hardcore would be the only really audience for this, and even then, you have to figure a big chunk will just decide the other companies make better phones and will be happy to just play Nintendo games on their consoles.
There definitely are a lot of people out there that would buy Nintendo games on a mobile, but that's a very different thing to buying a mobile to play Nintendo games.
And come on, look how hard Nintendo make it to communicate online! They shut down that 3DS software that let you send messages... so how will they handle text messages? People could send aggresive text, obscene photos...
I would like to support the idea of a Nintendo phone, but realistically, theyd have to either make it an Android device, which would make it easy for people to pirate the Nintendo software to use on other phones, or create their own phone OS. Considering how laggy the Wii U and even 3DS OSs are, I don't think itd end up being that convenient to use..
Based on what I know about Nintendo, I wouldn't buy their phone. They need to make a decent Nintendo App that encompasses Miiverse and the social aspect of their games.
Nintendo has nothing to offer in the phone market that isn't already being done extremely well by other companies.
No, Nintendo is specialized in games and that should be it, I"m a fan of any product of them but wouldn't buy one, Sony huge failure on this market should be of example.
I really don't think it would be a good idea.
It would take too much attention away from their home console / portable console business and frankly they need all the attention they can get currently.
Also look at Amazon's Fire phone. That came out with a lot of hooplah and a strong price tag not too long ago. Now it's on the verge of extinction and the price has been reduced drastically.
@Pinemeowth I don't know, it seemed like an incredibly thought out and well-rounded argument to me...
I personally think that it a bad idea to do but if it were to come out i would still get it. Honestly cant stand another moment about people raving about how bad they are at trivia crack
It would be interesting, more so for the novelty of it all, but I don't have faith that Nintendo can make it competent. Even if they partnered with some other company, I bet the choice in carriers would not even be worth a glance.
As long as Apple is selling iPhones, Nintendo should steer clear of mobile; stick to consoles and game development (PLEASE).
If Nintendo made a phone, it would be a novelty produce. Considering all that would have to go into making the phone, it would be a huge waste.
For those naysayers suggesting that Nintendo should stick to games, I wonder what people would have thought about them moving from Hanafuda cards to toys, or from toys to videogames at the time. Just because phones aren't what they do now, doesn't mean it's not something they should do in future.
Markets and industries change, appear and disappear, and a company has to grow to keep up with those changes.
I would only consider it if their flagship phones competes with other android flagship phones.
The problem with them making their own phone is that it can't be a new operating system, and if they went android, then they will lose all third party mobile support. Because the developed games would be developed for that system, and the publishers will not block the enormous android install base. I don't want touch screen controlled professor Layton, bravely default, and so on.
I don't think that they should or ever would but if they did I would have to buy it.
Would fail as quickly and catastrophically as the Virtual Boy.
Nintendo became renowned for video games worldwide, not for hanafuda cards or certain toys.
Nope. The most they could do is to make a Nintendo app that is capable of doing everything listed as exclusives in a Nintendo phone in this article, maybe except VC(With StreetPass, Ninty can release a small attachable communicator that can StreetPass with 3DSes as well as NFC). With a Nintendo app, Nintendo could change your phone to this "Nintendo Phone" for the cost of nothing. So no, no Nintendo phone.
EDIT: Nice article, BTW. I'd probably still consider the phone if Ninty does make one..
@OneBagTravel that is a good idea. Nintendo should expand mii verse to a mobile app.
I'm not sure,but if they did make a phone I probably would ditch my iPhone 4 for one
If Nintendo would make one i would probably get it, i hope they won't dou, and really it would be a huge flop if they ever made one.
Please Nintendo just keep making game systems instead, thanks.
@RupeeClock That's my point. If Nintendo hadn't decided to shift industries and put their efforts into the arcade and home console markets, they wouldn't be the company they are today.
The article is well written, using a variety of good arguments, but ultimately the idea of a Nintendo Phone is (in my opinion) one of the WORST decisions that Nintendo could ever make. Firstly, it would be a flop like others have said (since gaming phones aren't successful and people don't buy phones for games, they're just an extra), and there's just too much competition. Secondly, it would completely ruin the purpose of their handhelds, and might actually hurt that division. Lastly and simply, it's not what they're here to do: they make video games (and systems for it), they don't do phones, and the argument that they started out as a card and toys company is simply irrelevant; they became renowned for their video games (how big was Nintendo really back before video games).
Is it the first of April ?
Nintendo doesn't need to release a phone they need to release phone apps that act as baits to attract phone users to Nintendo devices. They also need to release a phone app for current Nintendo users. We should see something next year. Better late than never.
Phones have crap batteries and ergonomics: Phones are not gaming devices.
@maneauleau My iPhone's battery lasts longer than the one in my 3DS.
The problem is that Nintendo is terrible at creating versatile devices, free of idiosyncrasies. Could they create a handheld, in design close to a phone, which some capability for communication like phone, text and internet? Sure, why not.
Could they create something to rival Apple, Samsung, LG, Lenovo, Xiaomi and all the others, all the while creating a strong gaming platform reminiscent of the Gameboy line? Most definitely not, that is a task beyond (not only) Nintendo, maybe if they partnered with one of the aforementioned, for an infusion of know-how, experience and captial ... but even then, this seems like a herculean task at best, more like a pipe-dream really.
Also, all experiments in this regard were by and large unmititgated disasters sofar, that is not even accounting for the fact, that the PR for such a device would be "challenging", to say the very least - probably more like a nightmare.
I have to agree with you here. Sorry Nintendolife.
Nintendo appealing to what I affectionately refer to as the "mobile phone and tablet peasantry" would be a sad day for gaming as an art form.
I've been saying this for years, it's such an obvious business decision, and the only way Nintendo handhelds will exist in 10 years from now.
What? No. No!
Nintendo should release apps on mobile markets that promote their games. Or more things like the Miiverse app.
Mobile phone gaming can and should be stigmatized, given the unscrupulous business models that game companies tend to pull in that area.
Quite possibly the dumbest suggestion ever. The smartphone market is already ridiculously saturated, and with Samsung and Apple having it in a stranglehold, the entry barrier would be ridiculously high. Nintendo already pretty much owns the handheld gaming market with no competition other than the Vita, so why waste that money putting it into a market that is not only already filled to the brim with competitors that have been in the game for years, but a market they have no business being in at all? The Amazon Fire phone is a prime example of a company stepping into a marketing they have no business being in, and failing epically.
People here have said it, but Nintendo's specialty is games, but people don't buy phones for games. That and focusing on games for a phone would cut into and harm the handheld market they have under lock. The idea of them investing into a phone is the epitome of a giant NOPE.
One other point - People thought Apple making MP3 players and iPhones was a dumb idea too...
What's the point of making a phone when no games use that feature? Nintendo created their games with their hardware in mind, what kind of phone functionality will a game feature? Other than getting ads and interruptions I don't see anything worthwhile with this Nintendo phone idea that casual people kept asking for. If anything I really hate getting interrupted when playing my games so a Nintendo phone will never work for me.
I voted yes but then immediately regretted it! I really hope Nintendo never goes the mobile phone route. I don't want anything to cheapen my core mobile Nintendo gaming experience. I don't want my 3DS to become a phone!
Bad move like a nintendo phone would beat a Samsung galaxy or iPhone 6 lol it would look like a kids toy if nintendo made it.
If they make the Nintendo fusion and a handheld that runs the same games on the handheld and home console and you could make calls on the handheld much like apple messages and FaceTime does that might work.
nintendo messages Nintendo facetime to call other players like the wii u does but on a handheld.
Just No, Damo.
There's far too much a play here that you simply don't understand to just come out with a statement like "The Time Is Right For A Nintendo Phone" as though it's some kind of truism. It's not about being the right time or not. It's about being the right move or not. Not just in terms of making a short term profit, potentially, but also in terms of what it means for the long term future of the company and brand.
I don't think getting into the mobile phone market would be a good move for Nintendo; in exactly that same way I don't think it would be a good move for a company like Disney; in exactly the same way I don't think Nintendo making a sleep sensor and getting into this whole health and "well-being" market is a good move for the company [as an entertainment company and brand] either. Anyone who seriously suggests this kind of thing is the type of person who'd be likely to ruin everything this company is and that it stands for within a few generations if they were ever given such an opportunity; morphing it into something it shouldn't try to be imo, just like if you turned Disney into a home electronics company for example,
There's horses for courses and Nintendo should stick to being a world leading entertainment company (with games as it's primary focus) and indeed actually expand on that imo; much like Disney is also an entertainment company but one that covers a much wider gamut than Nintendo currently does in the entertainment sphere (movies, games, animation, toys, Disney stores, theme parks, etc), rather than turning the company into some kind of Samsung, Apple or Amazon.
I personally think the key to Nintendo's continued long term success is to imagine what you actually want this company to ultimately be and represent going forward (imagine what "Nintendo" would stand for in an ideal world...then continue to develop and expand the company around that) and not what you think might make it a few "easy" bucks by cashing on the popularity of the fickle mobile phone sector.
@LeeGarbutt At that time Nintendo were still wayfinding and were lead by the entrepreneur business man Hiroshi Yamauchi, the company has since been lead by people who helped developed their hit software titles and shape the company we have today.
NIntendo's previous president did not actually have all that much input in their own export, unlike Satoru Iwata.
This whole article seemed founded on the notion that dedicated handheld gaming experiences are in serious danger of falling to the mobile industry, but I simply do not think that is the case.
Avid gamers and many consumers know that most mobile titles are time-sinks they can add to their phone, whilst more in-depth and content value experiences are found on a dedicated gaming device, and I do not think it was the case that people retired from dedicated devices to opt for smaller experiences, I think it's the case that everyone got a hold of smart phones in some capacity.
A smart phone is something that most everyone has making it one of the most lucrative and potential markets to develop software for.
This advantage simply would not apply to a Nintendo made phone with exclusive software, because that requires buying the dedicated Nintendo phone. The N-Gage and the Xperia Play had much the same issue.
@Pinemeowth This is probably one of the most narrow-minded comments I've ever seen on NLife.
It won't work. The people who play mobile games don't play for enjoyment. They play to kill time. Which leads to another reason why it won't work. Nintendo games are $39.99. No one is going to pay that much for a "time killer". So if Nintendo wants to sell games to the mobile market, the games would habe to ve.free, 99 cents or "free" to play, which means that the games would have to be VERY basic. 99
I'm not confident in a Nintendo phone. I don't know how they would incorporate controls without creating some form of bulk. The modern consumer is a straight up tool. You don't think they would probably buy candy crush vs the original Mario bros? They do not want to be challenged. They want something accessible and cheap. Perfect example was when I went and watched Interstellar recently. The movie ended, and I heard "Where are the aliens"....The modern American consumer is the dumbest in the world. Thinking outside of the box is out of the question for these sheep. And that's what certain film, media, and most importantly Nintendo do best.
@LeeGarbutt Can you blame them after the Apple Pippin and the Apple Newton?
@SkywardLink98 Well try gaming for 3.5 hours straight with sound and games with polygons on your phone and see where that leave your phone battery.
If Nintendo can't keep up with Microsoft and Sony what chance have they got going up against Apple or Samsung?
The first thing they need to do is repair their brand value concerning home consoles. They are smashing it with the quality of their games right now but they're still not selling enough Wii Us. If kids aren't buying their consoles how could they sell phones?
I'd love to have a phone that has actual buttons. And virtual console would be noce to legally play my games like that. and their free to play model would probably move there, too.
I don't think that I would buy a Nintendo phone. I don't want to have to make a call or take a picture, but my battery is dying because I was playing a game. I'd rather just have a portable gaming system.
I knew this is Damo's talking point even before I opened it. Although I don't think Nintendo Wii make their own mobile phone, I will buy one of they do.
Fantastic article! Solid work, Nintendo Life!
I never bought a touch screen phone, I still use my 2009 vintage Sony Ericsson untouchable-screen phone.
I agree with very much in this article, and I find it very likely I would purchase a Nintendo phone.
I'd like Nintendo to do what Nvidia does with their Tablets/ handheld. Make a dedicated gaming device but with Android as the operating system. Doesn't need to make calls.
Well this popped out of nowhere, I personally think Nintendo doesn't need to make a phone as another way of making money as the 3DS is doing well and the Wii U is gaining some momentum. Though I can probably see myself buying a Nintendo Phone if it has the features I generally use often, so I picked Maybe.
See me, I don't do contracts. I have an iPhone 4s (slightly older model, but it's brand new and works great) but it's through Straight Talk for $45/mo and unlimited everything. AND runs on the Verizon network (which I insist on).
If I were to get a Nintendo phone it'd have to be non-contract $50/mo unlimited everything, and it'd have to have Verizon as one of the carrier options.
Granted, I might would still buy a Nintendo phone just for the games, and not even use it as a phone lol...
The DS was kind of a revolution with its touch-screen. I don't think they have something similar up their sleeves for smartphones.
It wouldn't be as easy as putting it on the market and watching it sell like hotcakes imo.
Personally i just want my smartphone to take good pictures and have the ability to call or text someone if i need to.
In Nintendo's case i don't think it would make sense to have exclusive smartphone-games for their phone, so i'm not interested.
Lol, I love Nintendo, but with Nintendo's protectionist ways this would be a crippled phone... They would make an eshop that has overpriced games on it and would lock the phone down like never seen before, also the don't and the amazon for phone both HUGe Flops!
@RupeeClock just what I was going to say
Nintendo is a dedicated platform, they don't need to go mobile
also with the way mobile gaming works it would probably do more harm to Nintendo than good
Nintendo should do this because historically mobile phones that were gaming systems also have done well?
And that's the stupidest comment I've ever seen.
Are you kidding?! All you mentioned are nothing but stupid industry myths and lies. How on earth is making a phone something good for Nintendo?! it doesn't makes sense, it doesn't has any logic. Is just game industry's propaganda.
If they made one it would certainly flop, but I would probably still get it.
@Hikingguy Absolutely, but that was my point, IF Nintendo can come up with the next "iPhone", then sure, they can succeed big time. The question therefore is this: Is there any reason whatsoever to believe they can?
Honestly, as I said, I don't see any reason to think they can. Quite to the contrary I see many reasons they cannot. The appeal of the iPhone went far beyond "mobile phone", "pocket PC" etc. ... it was and is a lifestyle product, it was as much about form as it was about function. Do you have any indication that Nintendo might be able to create a versatile, high-tech life-style product? They cannot even create a high-tech life-style gaming device in the eyes of most consumers these days. Isn't that a huge part of the problem of the WiiU? It's either unknown, or perceived as a toy, or perceived as a inferior technical product (contrast to the competition). The PS4 is sexy, the WiiU is not.
For crying out loud the WiiU doesn't even manage to implement a proper friends/party-application for the WiiU, what makes anyone think Nintendo can even remotely do this?
Nintendo is good at what they do, that is making great games for systems they designed for that purpose. They flat out s*** at making "entertainment systems".
Anyone thinking they can create the "next big thing" by fusing a mobile entertainment system, with a business application suite with a communication center, making all of this sexy and cool, as well as advertise it the right way .... all I can say is this, really? why?
That's like saying ... sure they s*** at driving golfcarts, but wait until you give them a space shuttle, they will blow your mind.
@RupeeClock It's not like they've shifted focus on the past or anything...
@RupeeClock It's not like they've shifted focus on the past or anything...
Well it's certainly true that they had a focus on family entertainment for the Wii, with accessible motion based games such as the Wii Sports and Wii Fit series, plus more appealing titles for older demographics like Brain Age, Picross, etc.
They still maintain these franchises too, despite shifting the focus back to core games.
@WinterWarm @KeeperBvK I apologise if offended or annoyed you. I'm just saying that I'm not personally interested in an Nintendo phone and really phones in general. But that's just me personally. I respect that other people might want nintendo to get into the phone market and would love to see a Nintendo phone. I totally respect that. Sorry if I offended anyone.
well let Nintendo try it
the DS was ment to be an thirth pillar in the first place to
so why not create an other thirth pillar and try it out
they can effort a failiure with the cash they made from the Wii
who knows maybe a nintendo phone would sell well.
no iOS → no buy
⇒ no Nintendo phone for me (at least not to use the phone/enterprise capabilities)
It would crash and burn so hard.
If companies like Microsoft, Palm, and Blackberry can't cut it in the modern smartphone market, why would Nintendo be able to?
OK, here's the real reason Nintendo will never do a phone - their brain trust leadership can't comprehend the business model.
Phones are based on being given away cheap and making money on long term contracts. Nintendo won't even sell it's home console at a loss even though it would make so much more money selling games and all the DLC that goes along w/ Pikmin 3 and MK8. Nitneod would make an expensive phone and sell it to make a profit and lose, just like Amazon lost w/ the Fire Phone.
When somebody at Nintendo can fully grasp the "razor and blade" business model let me know, until then this is a really big non-starter for them.
Also just to clarify that I don't think that this article is badly written or anything. Also I think that my first comment was poorly written. I should of explained myself better. Again, sorry if I hurt anyone's feelings!
@LeeGarbutt sorry dude. I should explained myself better. I suggest you look at my newest comments
Fair point. But the Wii U was sold at a loss up until (very) recently wasn't it? Still, not by much I suppose.
I guess the prepaid market comes to mind. More and more people are buying phones outright and saving money with the monthly bill. Could be the answer.
Good job on the article, Damien!
Actually I do think Nintendo should make it's own phone but I stopped reading this at the word "Android". Nintendo is build on creating its own operating software, why on earth would they create phone hardware (which is beyond their current scope) and not the OS which is more than likely what they would excel at?
Why I think Nintendo would make a good phone is in the fact that few people can make integrated Hardware/Software like they do. Apple is the ONLY other that I can reference with Microsoft attempting but failing. The accessibility and uniqueness of Nintendo software (including operating software) would make it unique. Each users Mii seamlessly integrating into their profile's such as email, Miiverse, Text Messaging and phone records. Ideas like spotpass and Streetpass are WHOLLY magnified by phone integration as compared to their 3ds counterparts. It would be a perfect home for VC games, I feel and QOL platforms do in fact have a future on smartdevices as would better editions of Wii Fit, Brain Training and others. I feel they could, with proper attention replace the handheld scene with a proper device. Mobile devices ARE capable of running advanced software but are limited due to their methods of input - a button configuration like Sony's would eliminate many problems.
I think Nintendo needs a phone/tablet line but I don't think I agree with taking only the low road and I DEFINITELY don't agree with going hand in hand with Android.
Ok, first & for most. This is one of the stupidest article I have ever read. YOU GUYS AT NINTENDOLIFE are starting to become like those people at IGN, Gamespot, Polygon, Gameinformer, Inside Gaming, & Yahoo games & the those fake news-media where they write stupid articles on how (If) Nintendo made a phone Or Went FULL Mobile. Its would basically save Nintendo from Hell. Well let me put it to you this this way. It would flop like the Amazon Fire Phone....You know what I'm not even going to bother with it...You guys are a complete joke. This is one of many reasons why people in the industry don't take us serious.
This is kinda like saying Canon or Nikon should make their next product a mobile phone; because mobile phones have cameras, right, and they're obviously really popular devices etc etc, so it just makes sense and could only end up in totally satisfied customers and great success for those companies going forward...
A much smarter move for Nintendo than getting into the mobile phone market would be to initially expand/reach further into things like the animation and toy sectors imo, then maybe down the line trying it's hand at films and opening up more Nintendo stores, possibly even opening Nintendo theme parks at some point. To me, that's feels like a much more appropriate and organic evolution of this beloved entertainment company. That's a Nintendo I could continue to love for the next 30 years and beyond. Not so much if it turns into the next Samsung.
I wouldn't buy a Nintendo Phone but would buy spin offs of Nintendo games on my iPod Touch.
No, no, no, never, never, never. Games on mobiles phones are garbage specially freemium, just watch south park episode about that.
I'd buy it, if it was priced well.
I think what would work best would be an iPod Touch-style device, running either Android or a Nintendo OS.
@JaxonH - "More and more people are buying phones outright and saving money with the monthly bill."
More and more, yes, up from zero percent to what? (Personally I've NEVER EVER have had a contract for a cell phone, and don't think I've ever paid more than $60 for 1, never had a smartphone. My last ew phones have all been under $20)
I just don't see Nitnedo getting into the cell phone business. Any cell phone worth a damn to play Ntinedo quality games wouldn't be cheap. And the fact that they cut 3DS from $249 to $169 must have hurt their brains.
I don't think it could cost all that much to add a cell phone app (I use free Google Voice to call and text over WiFi more than I use my cell phone carrier) into the new 3DS, Why build a self proclaimed phone which is based on either long term contracts or on going monthly bills? What in Ntinedo's history would make anybody think they would go that route? Skype on 3DS, done. Throw in a chip the tablets use for cell carrier service, done. But they'll never call it "phone".
I gotta say this article dosen't make a lot of sense to me. Sorry.
The phone market is so oversaturated and I don't see why trying to get a share in is any useful to Nintendo. People only have 1 phone, but everybody who has a phone can still buy a 3DS...I don't really see the point. And then there are parts like this:
"By creating its own "mobile eShop", Nintendo could release the entire Virtual Console back catalogue and unify its digital storefront across all of its devices. By linking them all together, we could finally see a time when games could be purchased on your phone and then queued for download on your 3DS or Wii U — something which Sony already allows via its own smartphone application and website."
Why do we need a phone for this? Nintendo is already not good at making something out of the VC...why would that suddenly change on a phone and why do we need a phone to get a better VC.
The Miiverse thing is the same. I love Miiverse but most people are already not using it anymore. I don't see that changing just because they have it on the go.
Great points by all the skeptics in here. Nintendo does, indeed, have a long history of changing their business and has only been invested in video games for the last 30 years, but they would not stand a chance in any stretch of the imagination in the phone market.
There is nothing new or unique that can be done in mobile that would wouldn't be substantially cost prohobitive. The patent portfolio held by rival phone makers alone would immediately require a team of lawyers; Nintendo would also have to reach out and ink deals with service carriers, unless the author of this article thinks they should also build their own mobile towers across the globe. It would be a massive undertaking with infinitely more risk than potential reward. And with how conservative the Big N has been with its momey, I'm glad they continue to eschew this market.
The barriers to entry are just too high in my opinion. If Microsoft and Amazon can't even make a dent at this point it's hard to see Nintendo doing so. It's just to hard to get mind-share and a big enough app catalog to matter.
What I do think might work is if they made an exclusive deal with Apple or Android to create a Nintendo store that would be the sole output for their mobile games and apps. I think that would be win-win. Nintendo could be upfront about which titles will NOT be on phones and will. Some games like Brain Age would be perfect for mobile. Nintendo could create a cross-buy system that rewards people with a 3DS or successor with exclusive content and deeper games for some games (think Pokemon 3 versions - a smaller mobile and then the traditional 2 larger games) , while others like Smash Bros just never go to phone.
i don't need a phone to play games or a gameboy that makes calls
The iNtendo U, the new cell-shaded phone
I would buy it in a heartbeat!
Always curious to see that most of the reasons against the idea are not because they wouldn't want it, but because they think Nintendo would be completely out of their league and would be crushed the first moment they take a step into the market.
Where is people leaving the pride and confidence on the Nintendo brand?
I don't think any of us actually think Nintendo is going to do this. Just us imagining and having some fun is all.
Nintendo should keep with consoles. There are too many phone out there, and they may get lost, unless they can clearly distinguish themselves. If efforts are put into a console, that also happens to have phone capabilities, that may work better. But, for me, phones have never meant that much to me, as playing games on a console.
I agree with those that argue a Nintendo phone would not be successful. I don't think many people would ultimately give up their current phones in order to get one, and since Nintendo would have to make the games exclusive to the phone they would sell less of everything (hardware/software). If Nintendo were to explore this direction I think a more profitable route would be to release it on Android/iPhone with a special controller also sold by Nintendo. While I love the 3DS, I do wonder how much longer people will buy a separate gaming system. While I disagree with the following notion myself, ultimately I think most people are fine with the games available on iPhone/Android and don't really care too much about the caliber of games (which Nintendo excels at). I will continue to buy Nintendo systems, but ultimately I agree with those that see Nintendo abandoning the market and selling their software on the digital stores of Android and iPhone. As a teacher, I speak to many teens and this seems to be the direction many of them are heading in (not all by any means, but definitely a larger and larger chunk of them). I would be thrilled to see this turn out differently, but the hardware of a phone can cost upwards of $1,000 and gives the phones significantly more power than what Nintendo can produce for a few hundred dollars. People are already in the habit of upgrading their phones every few years, but expect a gaming system to last 5 years. There is no way for Nintendo to continue to profitably keep up technologically and simultaneously compete with the cheap games on tablets and phones. I see them retaining some control with a better controller and control of games.
I think they should just make a Miiverse app that has access to the Nintendo eShop and Club Nintendo. You can do your surveys on club nintendo, redeem codes in the eshop or buy games from there and talk about the games and draw on your device on the Miiverse portion.
Xperia Play came too soon, and it used 2010 specs despite being a 2011 phone. Nintendo COULD probably do better (since Sony didn't really try that hard), but I doubt they would put the money into making a high quality phone.
EDIT: "the only development cost in terms of software would be the creating of the "skin" which sits on top of Android"
Considering how inexperienced Nintendo is at making decent OSes, I fear we would just get another Touchwiz if Nintendo made a phone.
If Nintendo Phone would come out, and new games are developed for Nintendo Phone, I would buy it.
But, if no new games, no need to have a Nintendo Phone.
@Captain_Gonru - I don't know anything really about sim cards and slots and carriers. I've owned 2 tablets and an iPod Touch a few years back but never 1 w/ cell service, only Wi-Fi. I do think that would be the way for them to go though. The Wii U has U Chat or something, never used it, and doesn't 3DS have some type of chat, it has a camera and a mic, that much I do know. Why make a phone and like you say deal w/ different regional cell companies all over the world? It's really a non-starter to me.
3DS successor is 3DS U as it doubles as the Wii U2 Gamepad, like it sort of does now in SSBU and hopefully will also in Starfox and Splatoon since dual Gamepad support dosn' tseem to be coming. Wii U2 sells w/o the Gamepad, 3DSU doubles as the Gamepad. Will Bono sue them, that's the real question.
If the Wi U Gamepad had a cell chip in it, and proper Wi-Fi, they wouldn't need a phone. OK it would have to be much smaller, and be able to fold in half like a new 3DS XL, and they could call it 3DSU.
@JaxonH - "having some fun"
1 man's "fun" is another man's "clickbait". It was a well written and thought out piece, but it still just seems too silly to bother.
While I'm sure ninty would find a way to make good games on the smartphone, I am sure they would goof on something with a proprietary phone. I'm not too sure how making a phone would be that much different from adding phone calling capabilities and 3g to the 3ds. Scratch that, a lot of people I know don't even use their phones to call people any more!
You're 5 months early, not too late to
I am not playing Pokemon on Mobile.
NO NO NO
You either want some clicks, or you just lost your marbles. Nintendo games on a smartphone or even Nintendo smartphone is a very bad idea. I mean, look at Sony, they are losing money because of smartphones, and they are thinking about closing the smartphone division.
No, no, and an infinite amount of more no!
If there's anything I learned so far, then that phones have become an immensely dangerous device. The user gets tricked into providing personal information, and this personal information can be bought easily by any company that wants to. Smart devices are a death sentence for privacy, no discussion.
But what is even more dangerous is the blatant consumerism surrounding smart devices. Every "new" model is outdated after one year, the amount of waste generated through phones that are outdated, but very much working, is causing more pollution than ever before, and people get disgustingly greedy. Hell, nearly half of the reported thefts around the world nowadays involve smart devices.
And even then, a phone has absolutely nothing to do with dedicated gaming. It has nothing to do with Nintendo's strong focus on making dedicated gaming devices, it's not even a joke - it's blasphemy.
..Nintendo has to embrace mobile in one way or another...
This is the most pointless thing anyone can try to abuse as an argument. Nobody has to embrace the freaking smart device market, especially not Nintendo. If I can easily live without a phone, then Nintendo can definitely do the very same.
Nintendo should make apps to make their services more intergrated. But a standalone phone or moving games to the phone? No. The smartphone market is fragmented enough as is so they would not gain a real foothold. The draw of their hardware is that games are designed around it and thus leveraging its inherent design abilities. that would be diminished by making a one size fits all mobile game. Also ask capcom, ubisoft, ea, and squeenix how well that is going for them. minus direct ports their mobile offerings are terrible. They just further fragment the userbase not enhance it.
Nintendo needs to make a miiverse app, a club nintendo app and something that ties their account structure together and makes it more user friendly. Honestly this could all be one app. other than that they need to stick with their hardware.
@kereke12 If they're such a joke then please--I absolutely BEG of you--PLEASE leave this site and never come back.
An editor has the right to an opinion piece. If you disagree with it you can say so without calling into question the quality of the entire site and insulting the writer. And if you feel this strongly you can just plain get out of here.
Like, seriously, all you've got to do is navigate away and just never come back to this address again. It's very easy, and both you and we will be better off for it.
LIke @Ryu_Niiyama said, it would be great if, instead of making a phone--which is potentially problematic for all sorts of reasons--they make a broad app that runs on top of Android. In addition to MiiVerse, they could make it interface with eShop so that you can do mobile buys. They could include an embulator and let you have the mobile version of a VC game for free if you buy on WiiU or 3ds. They could enable Street-Pass functionality that would transfer from your phone to your WiiU/3DS via NFC or your Nintendo ID. And they could integrate their QoL platform too. What about NFC Amiibo support for the app? The possibilities are really endless. And, once they prove success there, they can think about releasing bluetooth controllers or phones. But only AFTER they have proven success in the non-dedicated mobile arena
Idk...part of me says no. Nintendo is gaming. I don't want a touch screen mario game. But if Nintendo phone has buttons and everything a 3ds is but with phone ability. Then hell yes.
i would be the stupidest move from nintendo
moreover, using an operating system available on all phones would be the same as wanting nintendo to release microsoft windows games
Before Nintendo could move to mobile they must have save data backed up on the cloud. They should have a cloud back up option for all their devices, but I would say it's a must for phones. Phones gets lost, break, and are upgraded more often than their current devices. They could backup via SD card, but there is still risk there. If the games come from online they should be able to save online.
Yeah, if Nintendo is going to survive in this industry, they have to either move into mobile or PC. People just don't want a gaming centric device anymore, and certainly not one that prides itself on innovative gaming experiences. Most people want a do everything device. They want not just games, but video, music, messaging, etc. More than likely Nintendo is either going to have to adapt to this market or die along with consoles.
How do I put this gently...
This would not end well. Seriously.
The real solution for nintendo is to find out what the young and current generation of gamers want from a mobile gaming device. I will tell you though, most likely it is not a nintendo gaming phone. It would most likely be a niche and not do well at all. A better idea would be to either release the games for IOS or android and manufacturers could come up with whatever kind of control scheme that they want, whether it be touch screen or a physical attachment, OR, nintendo could simply continue to upgrade it's gameboy/DS device to take advantage of newer technologies. Doing both however is definitely not be advised as the former would hurt the latter.
I'm using my iPhone for portable music and films. I just don't play mobile games unless my iPad is all I have to hand or I want some pinball. I could see kids doing this, however, so I may not be the market, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
@RupeeClock I dunno. I've had Androids crack on the first day, the back of each brushed metal iPad looks like a blender hit it the first time I use it, and my other Androids have crashed about 300 times. In over 20 years of owning Nintendo consoles, I've had a crash twice, and both were on the same wii game.
If Nintendo made a phone....oooooooooo
Too risky. I guess It's not the time to even be considering this. Nintendo is starting to regain ground now after last year's failure. But maybe someday... But things could start slower than the article suggests. There's already a potential Mii related app in development, and it's about time Miiverse gets its too. An app like PlayStation's doesn't require a "Nintendo Phone" to exist. Try those things first. Enter properly in the smartphone world, and maybe someday having a dedicated Nintendo Phone might be a considerable idea.
@LeeGarbutt There's a big difference between an untapped market and a saturated one. The mobile market is so saturated that Nintendo has a higher chance of failure than success
There are some major problems I see with the whole smart phone idea.
1. There are simply too many players in the mobile phone business as it is. If Nintendo entered the market, they would be competing with Sony, Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, Motorola, LG, Nokia, HTC, and many other companies that already exist in the market.
2. Nintendo’s name means nothing in the mobile business. At the end of the day, Nintendo is known as a video game and toy company that built their empire on Mario. Do people honestly think they can compete with established companies that have been making mobile phones for years? Who honestly thinks Nintendo will be taken seriously by companies looking to buy mobile phones for their employees? You think managers and executives in charge of getting hardware for their workers are going to invest in a brand that for years, was only know for making the systems and games that their kids play?
Samsung, Apple, Microsoft, Nokia, LG, all of these are established electronics, computer, and software companies who are respected both by personal users and businesses. Nintendo will be laughed out of the building if they try to compete with established players who are respected and trusted in this market.
Regardless of if people think the image is deserved, the market sees Nintendo as a video game and toy company, not a serious electronics or computer company.
3. Nintendo would lose control over their hardware. Yes, I know this article brings up the fact that Nintendo can build their own UI over Android, but do people think that will work for a company like Nintendo, that historically, loves to be in control of everything? Think about it, Nintendo would be at someone else’s mercy, be it Google with the OS, phone carriers, or having to deal with outside apps.
Nintendo would lose their ability to control their OS, the network that serves their systems, and the ability to block unauthorized apps form working on their hardware.
Nintendo can’t stand the thought of homebrew running on their systems. Do people think they would be OK with giving any control up to anyone else?
4. Nintendo can’t have both a handheld and a mobile device. I know people will bring up the third-pillar all they want, but the reality is that Nintendo said that back when the DS launched to cover their behinds and protect the Game Boy brand. The second the DS took off, it killed the Game Boy line.
Good, for them right?
Not really, it could hurt Nintendo in the long run. People generally don’t buy more then one phone for their use, and most people stick to a single carrier. If Nintendo does not end up on all the carriers, then they end up cutting away a portion of the market that might otherwise buy a Nintendo handheld. Not to mention, they still have to compete with other established brands like Apple.
Now, they can’t have both a handheld and mobile device out on the market at once that use different Operating Systems and hardware. Look at how difficult development has been with both the 3DS and the Wii U. Both systems have stretched Nintendo’s resources, and those are on hardware of their own design! Now, they have to learn an OS that they never created, and add it in as a third pillar.
But the issue is that they have to pick a single system. Either mobile or handheld. It can’t be both.
The reason for that is simple. To make a system interesting to the general market, they need to put games on there that people want to play. If they put a new mainline Pokemon, Mario games, and Zelda on a Nintendo phone and neglect the handhelds, then that market will lose customers. If Nintendo plays it safe and keeps their heavy hitters on their handhelds with the phone getting nothing but minor games and Virtual console games, then the phone will have trouble gaining traction.
If Nintendo decides to spread their titles evenly between both, then that puts even more pressure and strain on their development teams to juggle a phone platform, a handheld platform, and a home console as well.
5. Nintendo’s business model is not suited to mobile devices. While their digital platforms have made great strides over the years and they are making some money from their digital shops, much of Nintendo’s money likely still comes from retail releases. With a mobile device they would lose that market since there is no cards or discs to make. Their business model also thrives on making deep games with tons of features and that are finished when they arrive on store shelves. Mobile devices rely on the microtransation model for the most part, with “free” games luring in consumers. How many full-priced games are on mobile devices? More importantly, how many of them have been successful?
Nintendo would either take the risk with $39.99 games on mobile platforms or have to adopt the microtransation model for their games. Namely, the fun of getting a “Free” Mario game and then having to pay for each of the worlds after the first one.
Even the model of selling retro games might not help. People complain about buying $4.99 NES games on Nintendo’s own shops. For an audience that has grown used to “free” games with add-ons and features that are bought bit by bit, Nintendo’s model may not be something they want to deal with.
I want to say that I have no issue with Nintendo getting onto mobile devices. Maybe some old retro games, something like NES Remix, or small games starring Mario will be fine to introduce the mobile audience to Nintendo’s games and get them to hopefully move onto Nintendo’s platforms.
But a Nintendo mobile device is suicide. Nintendo would enter a market with tons of competitors who already very established with devices that are very popular.
Nintendo is having issues in the home console market. Should they really enter a market where they have to fight tooth and nail for market share?
One other thing I want to note it this. People are under the impression that handheld gaming and mobile gaming are interchangeable, and Nintendo’s success with handhelds will mean they will be successful with a mobile device. The problem is that the markets while similar in the concept of making games that people can play on the go, operate on different business models and are aimed at different audiences.
Nintendo making a mobile device is not guaranteed success, just like Apple deciding to make a 3DS-like system to compete in the handheld market would not be a guaranteed success either. Nintendo’s model is tailored to the handheld market.
I've always hated cell phones. Even if it was a Nintendo phone, it'd have to be signifigantly better than the 3DS to make me buy one.
First of all I don't think I would give up my IPhone 6 and I don't think most adults would give up their phone either . maybe if they market it as a kid phone where parents can keep tabs of their children but phones already have that. They would have to come up with a special feature. Like some of these post said " oversaturated". A phone is an extension of oneself clearly nintendo would be android and I would not go there.
I'd love to play Nintendo games on my phone but I'm not sure they would ever match the quality of 3DS games. However I'm not sure I would ever buy a Nintendo phone because I'm very invested in iTunes. I have over 1TB of iTunes on my computer.
Plus, wouldn't 3DS sales go down since you could play Nintendo games on a Nintendo phone?
You stay away from those mobile phones, now, Nintendo!
I find it amusing that in spite of the negative reaction in the comments to this idea, the poll (at the time of writing) is still in favour of a Nintendo Phone, and has been practically since voting started...
I think this just sounds too advanced and modern for Nintendo to do it. Both of their consoles use dated hardware. Both are operated on largely dated ideas--for instance, they still don't have an account-based set-up for buying games or software, they don't have an account-based achievement or trophy system (which is something gamers look for now), their online offerings pale in comparison to even the original Xbox, let alone the X360, PS3, or new-gen consoles, they don't have a competitive subscription service or cross-buy for multiplatform games, and their customer rewards program is pathetic, etc.
I think Nintendo should do it, if for no other reason than they need to diversify their offerings and product portfolio, but also because they'd be able to reach such a massive audience, especially if they smartly use the Android OS.
I think it's bizarre that anyone would want them not to make a phone. That's tantamount to saying you don't want the company to grow or evolve in any way. I think they should--but I think they won't because they are incapable of understanding the industry or offering anything competitive.
Maybe if they had more reasonable management...
Glad you guys aren't working for Nintendo, this idea smells bad.
One does not simply walk into the phone hardware market. It's insanely difficult to compete with the companies that are doing it now in hardware and components alone. It's an entirely different category with all sorts of difficult issues and service contracts. It's a nightmare that Nintendo has no experience with. Nintendo would have to hire a huge new team of experienced engineers or contract everything out. It just makes no sense and doesn't play to the strengths of the company.
However, something that I can attach to my phone and play Nintendo games could replace/compliment a 3DS. A brilliantly designed controller, for instance, with a couple unique features.
The games could require the Nintendo branded controller so Nintendo could have some control over their share of the market and the brand.
For iPhones and iPads, It would have to be through a deal with Apple, though, because currently apps aren't allowed to require a game controller. There has to be touchscreen alternative controls.
Seems like this isn't going to be their strategy though for at least one more generation of hardware and I don't know if it should ever be their strategy. Nintendo does need to stay relevant as these mobile device become ubiquitous for gaming but dropping hardware or trying to compete in a market it has little to no experience with isn't in the cards for awhile.
I think its because even though we don't want Nintendo to go down that route, (they should weigh in and think about it forever, but never do it) Most people who are Nintendo fans would probably pick one up if it existed, so its No, until it exists, and then its OMG Yes! I however voted maybe? but really I wouldn't want Nintendo to create a phone, but use mobile devices better tied with their games, like an app that allows you to go into your Pokebank and play/feed/train your pokemon when you're not playing the game, or check up on them/their stats etc.. easier with a device thats always glued to you, if Nintendo synced phone apps with their games and devices then its a win win
Unless it has actual buttons, and not optional buttons that will barely be used, I'd want one.
I wouldn't buy a Nintendo phone, but it doesn't matter cause they would never do a phone It's just not Nintendo for them to make a cellphone.
HAHAHA no. There's a reason why Nintendo makes handhelds.
I think I would prefer a Nintendo Handheld with phone options.. or a Nintendo phone with no-android system
The question of the poll is "Would you buy a Nintendo phone?"
I said, "yes," assuming they actually produced one.
However, "Should they produce one?" is a totally different question. The mobile space is so competitive and cutthroat right now that I don't see it being a smart business decision for them. They would have to deviate tons of resources to just getting off the ground.
I would say that if they can provide a dedicated gaming device with web browsing, phone, and media capabilities (for example, for gaming over 4G/LTE networks), then it might be doable. Otherwise, they shouldn't even bother because a device with those extra capabilities are bound to make a device that is too expensive (e.g. 3G Vita).
I voted "maybe". Because it would have to be my other phone. Sorry, but I have an iPhone and I can't see myself without one. So it would be a second phone, the one I used for gaming and not for calling, texting or using apps. I don't know how many people who wants a second phone. I think it's few. I really don't want one. But if Nintendo made their next handheld a phone and gaming console combined in one thing, I might get one, just to play their games. But I would much rather just have their new handheld gaming console.
I would buy one just for the fact of having a friggin NINTENDO PHONE! I'm all in for that third pillar strategy but I´m also worried that it would eat sales from Nintendo's home console and handhelds.
I've had the same Nokia (monochrome screen) mobile phone for over 9,5 years. Maybe it'll break one day, but I wouldn't count on that. But if that happens, my body is ready for Nintendo Phone!
I have an Xperia Z1S, and I have a 3DS. I love them both, but I have no desire to put them in a blender and see what qualities get compromised in the process. If it happened, and was on T-Mobile, I would still probably buy it though.
*Tries to text somebody on Nintendo phone.
*Phone says I cannot send the text because we have not registered each other's friend codes.
The problem is, nintendo is losing market. After we are all gone, what would be left? People who grew up playing on smartphones.
Ninty has to do something to ensure it will still be on board the following generation(s)...
http://mynintendonews.com/2014/12/08/earthbound-forever-heading-to-wii-u/ How has NL NOT posted anything related to this yet? It's a rumor, buts its highly believable. MY main reason is become it came from the place that leaked stage builder for SSBU and it was true.
Can I play a new Metroid title on it?
The Blue Ocean crowd was fickle and saw the Wii (and to an extent, the DS) as a fad. They are a short-term win, as has been evidenced by the severe plummet in revenue and sales with the Wii U and 3DS compared to their sales-dominating, Blue Ocean predecessors. Blue Ocean is not a long-term solution, as Nintendo is now hopefully learning to understand.
It also doesn't matter if phones are a crowded market. The market has changed drastically, and the vast majority of people get a new phone every year or two (Apple consumers every four months when a new one rolls out), which means there is ample space for market disruption and introduction. My last three phones have all been different, Blackberry -> Windows 7 Phone -> Samsung Galaxy Android. Change is and can be frequent.
This would actually be an extremely smart idea for Nintendo as the company is currently too specialized and needs to expand--both Microsoft and Sony do far more than just gaming. Nintendo is also into toys and things (they own the Seattle Mariners), but they are much smaller than their competitors. To that end, Nintendo does or did own at least one cell phone technology company.
They definitely should expand into this market. They just don't have the understanding, management, or capabilities right now.
@Yomerodes IKR? It's weird. I personally believe Ninty should not make a phone but a dedicated app, but Nintendo have and has made decent products. I don't get the underpowered gist at all...
Lol no, a Nintendo phone sounds like it would be a massive flop. Both MS and Sony have tried and failed, why would Nintendo succeed?
It is my experience that mobile gaming is the worst kind of gaming there is. Terrible controls, shallow games created just to grab a quick buck, and annoying F2P garbage. No thanks. My phone is used for texting, calling, social media, etc. i never use it for gaming because gaming on phones sucks. The only people who don't know that are people who've never owned a Vita or 3DS with which they can compare it to.
Why a phone... 3DS plays games, audio and video has a web browser all it needs is good texting support maybe a form of video chat support and you are good to go.
People rarely use phones to call anymore.
Nintendo products should not be used for updating facebook and checking your email in the bus. it's just wrong!
I'd definitely buy a Nintendo phone if it was up to the standard quality of today's smartphones. If not, then I'd pass.
I think if anything they should start with Nes titles on the App Store, but then again raises the pirating question.
What this interesting piece shows is that potentially other companies have a lot to fear from Nintendo. They probably gain a lot of mileage from belittling Nintendo and dismissing them when they're down.
The Wii U has proved an underwhelming opponent to tablet devices, if that is the market it's aimed at absorbing some of (And I think it is)
If Nintendo were to enter the mobile or tablet market explicitly, they could flex a lot of muscle, standing on the strength of their various character IPs and franchises - given their handheld console market domination, such a bold move has the potential to really unsettle competitors.
But I would worry about Nintendo's tendency towards control - Even with its flexibility they may sit uncomfortably with Android and want any Nintendo device to have an entirely Nintendo OS.
Like many here it seems, judging from the negative comments/poll contradiction, I don't think its a particularly great idea but I'd certainly buy one; because I love NIntendo.
I don't think it's a good idea though.
@DamienMcFerran Sorry never going to happen.
@Gridatttack Exactly. The only reason why the idea is even being brought up is because Nintendo is slowly losing its relevance in the market. There's fewer people nowadays that want a dedicated gaming device, and the majority of those that do don't care for unique gaming experiences. If they want to stay in business they have to change their approach, and mobile is the most profitable sector in the market.
Damien McFerren didnt write this. No, this is the work of Damien, the son of the devil!
"I think it's bizarre that anyone would want them not to make a phone. That's tantamount to saying you don't want the company to grow or evolve in any way. I think they should--but I think they won't because they are incapable of understanding the industry or offering anything competitive."
Exactly my point.
I find it amusing that one of the key counter-arguments here is "Nintendo shouldn't make a phone because it would suck".
Talk about having faith, guys!
NO, PLEASE NO!!!
I think if they would branch out to mobile they should go all in then. Make their next handheld system in such a way that it can operate as a phone but is not so phone centric that it couldn't be carried around along with another phone. some people may want a Nintendo phone but others may want a Samsung as their phone but still have a Nintendo mobile game system.
Shouldn't be much harder than adding network connectivity like the 3g vita.
As for the OS I think they'd be best off making their own so their games can operate as they always have and not be Android based. But the key would be to also have an android emulator or compatibility later like blackberry has so people who choose this phone aren't also choosing to have a phone with no apps.
@MrCanzine Not a lot of people are going to buy 2 phones, even if they have different functions or niches. The entire problem is that most people only want to buy one device to accommodate their needs. So if Nintendo is going to make their own phone it has to compete with other phones.
Meant to post a million hours ago, but that headline, total click bate lol.
You know yourselves, Nintendo and their own phone, would sell to us the fan boys, but would fail overall. Emulation on android, could work, but, nah no money in phone games as we all know, I need the home console from ninity for that.
If they made one I'd buy it. Do I think it'd do well? Probably not as they'd most likely have to form a partnership, something we all know isn't one of Nintendo's strongest points.
@Bolt_Strike That's what I was trying to cover with my post.
For those who only want one device, the Nintendo device could suit their needs, especially if it was compatible with Android software like I suggested.
For those who may not want that Nintendo device to be their phone, but still want the Nintendo device (Just like people do today with their phone and also carrying around a 3DS), then they'd have that option too.
So it's not about buying 2 phones, it's about the Nintendo device being able to be a phone if needed, but also not just be a phone.
If Nintendo is to compete with cell phones, they can't just have one dedicated phone, because people who don't want a Nintendo branded phone also won't get Nintendo things. And if Nintendo doesn't make a Nintendo Device that can be used as a phone, then gamers of the future will still be buying 2 devices anyway(1 phone, and 1 Nintendo portable console/3DS successor)
.... Or water down the legacy ... Any reasonable android phone can play games via emulator up to SNES/GBA!!! Who wants to play "proper" games on a phone??? Sony tried it .... Failure!!! Tablets added a controller ... Obsolete!!! Its DOA!!!! Stick to maintaining credibility Ninty!!!
@MrCanzine this woul make the most sense. I would imagine in a year or two, including cellular capabilities will be relatively cheap and could be flipped on pretty easily.
I'm not saying I WOULDN'T, but at the moment, I don't see a reason for a Nintendo Phone.
Personally, I haven't heard of a gaming phone that's done well and using smartphones for gaming isn't as great as a dedicated console. Scrunched controls aren't my thing.
I put Maybe. Whatever happens happens. If it happens and it proves to be a viable phone that (following Nintendo's history) gives you a good experience at a low cost, I'll be on-board. I won't buy a phone just because it's got Nintendo printed on the back.
As for Nintendo games on existing phones, I'm not rich and I'd buy a PS4 or One before dropping the same $450 on a phone. I have a smartphone that can do a few apps and 3G. I'm fine with it. It can't run games, but that's what my 3DS is for.
@Hikingguy "if anyone could do it, Nintendo could" - I'm not sure I even disagree with that sentiment, but like I said, I don't think Nintendo can, which then could very well be read, as no-one can - not now, not in the near future.
As for the "whole touch screen craze", I'm not precisely sure what you mean, but if you refer to gaming, it's probably not really offer, seeing as the WiiU Gamepad, the (New)3DS as well as the Vita still (occasionally) support, or more like enforce it. For mobil phones it is most definitely not offer, and I don't see any signs that indicate that there is movement back towards physical input any time soon, if ever.
I think for a phone, a touchscreen, esp. a multi-touch one, even more so once they can detect "analoge" pressure, makes a hell of a lot of sense. For most games though, a touchscreen is not a good choice.
And right there is one of the basic contradictions here, you want a sexy, small, lightweight device, with a big, bright, colorful screen, with ease-of-use, uncluttered by inputs eating up space, all the while "tainting the design". On the gaming side of things, you want something ergonomic, comfortable to hold in both hands for extended period of times, you want it to have physical as well as analogue inputs that are comfortable and easy to reach ... Sounds like conflicting design goals right there, at the most basic level of ergonomics and haptics.
"Nintendo would need to appeal to more than just people who play games" - that is exactly what I meant by PR nightmare. You are right, Nintendo would have to appeal to broad spectrum of people, but as of right now, they are extremely bad at doing just that. They fail to appeal to a broad spectrum of gamers, not to mention people in general. In some ways I guess that is a blowback of the Wii area, but still, Nintendo has created a kind of "stigma" for themselves, you know what I mean, technological obsolete, riddled with idiosyncratic design choices and aimed at children.
I just don't see how they can turn this around, and get a broad coalition of trend setter to go all crazy for one of their phones.
Maybe they could create the ultimate "child-friendly" smartphone/gaming device, something combining the advantage of an iphone with a gameboy, but also build to make parents feel comfortable: sturdy, not to expensive, quality games, ease-of-use, useful applications, build-in contnet filtering as well as good parental lock and supervising system. That could make some sense, but like I said, I don't see wallstreet yuppies and jay-z buying Nintendo smartphones, not now, probably not ever ^^
I would definitely buy a nintendo phone but that doesn't make me think they should exist.
@Captain_Gonru - "nation wide Wi-Fi"
Living on Long Island NY I almost feel like I have nation wide coverage. It means I'm stuck w/ Cablevision and can't switch to Verizon FIOS, but I almost always have Wi-Fi.
Oh, and besides that whole SIM card thing, I can't imagine a Nintendo licensed phone if they can't keep Swap-Note going. Will the phone "bleep" out every time someone curses? Will it delete all our sexting messages? I suppose Jenifer Lawrence might be first in line to buy 1. Nintendo phone, it just keeps getting sillier and sillier.
What is this?No!Hell no!They barley got back up o their feet, is not the right time to do this!You don't see any Sony and Microsoft doing this,cause they know it won't end well for them and it's fans.
A Nintendo Mobile device...
I think it's a bad idea, just because I doubt it would be appealing to the "Hardcore" Phoners.
Would I buy it? Yes. Do I know anyone else who would? No.
@midnafanboy Both of them have their own phones and tablets, actually.
A Nintendo phone would never break
Well this one is kinda tough. Sure, I'd gladly buy one, but no me else would. Then what? I love the idea of a 2MP camera on a Nintendo... And social media. A 3DS-style phone would be a day-one purchase for me.
I would see no real reason for Nintendo to get into phones. They're a gaming company, not a mobile company.
Just a thing to remember - just because you could, doesn't mean you should.
Just put all of the garbage "Freemeium" games on their phone's app store,have it be hard to break,and give it great promotion and it will sell like crazy.
There should be two polls here. Would I buy it? Yes, because i'm a sucker for nintendo and theres not much they could do to get me to stop buying their products. Do I want them to make a phone? No PLEASE NO. Mobile Games are garbage in my opinion. I get that they're a huge cash cow right now, but i really wouldn't like them to sacrifice the quality of any games or systems for a touch screen with a zelda game in which you have to purchase every weapon separately to play.
Knowing Nintendo I don't have much faith on them making a good phone. They would probably end up slapping the crappy Android OS, and I would rather not have a reason to jump ship :/
Also the article is terribly wrong to assume android had much -if anything- to do with Samsung's success. Samsung's success comes from the same place Apple's does: marketing and great design. Most people out there, when they buy a Samsung phone, they aren't buying an Android phone, they are buying a Samsung Galaxy phone, the OS it comes with is irrelevant to the mass market.
The other great pitfall of android is security, or well the lack of it. Piracy would be almost instantaneous (as it is on android nowadays, not even the Kindle or Nokia X devices are safe).
A nice long article from Damien. Its a good insight but obviously not very deep in understanding of the mobile operating system in the current days.
Android is a good OS but it has many flaws which Nintendo, that we all knew, would not dip their hand into getting involved with. Nintendo could be considered as a close system. They even have locked zone for crying out loud. Its possible to have google apps on the 3ds but not the other way around. Nintendo is a hardware&software company, there is no reason to have that leverage go away. Plus if there are both phone and dedicated gaming device in the market, one of them would be discontinued. Nintendo games get you at least 45-60 mins concentratation rate each time it is turned on. Mobile gaming is a 10 mins restroom game.
I'd drop my iPhone 6 in a heartbeat to have a Nintendo Phone.
@Captain_Gonru - "Kind of went on a tangent there, didn't I."
That's ok, I tend to have that effect on people.
Ya know, if they call it the "Nintendo Nanny Phone" and offer to screen all of the texts, calls and photos maybe they could make it work
Reading most comments here I picture in my mind a father speaking to his son...
"NO. Don't enter the football team. You are overweight and way out of shape right now, you have barely any talent and even doing things you are good for you are hardly something to write about. If by some lucky chance you were half decent at football and enter the team, you still shouldn't do it because there are far better and more experienced players out there that would crush you in a second."
I think there may be a small problem with Nintendo making a phone with its video games on it.
I don't know what the laws are in your respective countries, but I thought a minor (under 18 years old or equivalent in your jurisdiction), cannot technically own a mobile phone.
I see plenty of young people with phones, but I assume they are bought in the name of an adult for use by a minor. It surprises me that adults who buy phones for their youngsters seem never to get put before the courts when those youngsters break the law using those same phones.
There needs to be some legal clarity and certainty on this point, or Nintendo will be making a risky business case if it proceeds.
YEAH! And while we are at it, lets get a nintendo smart car, and nintendo smart TV... SCREW IT! NINTENDO HOUSE WITH NINTENDO COFFEE MAKER!
The mentality behind the whole 'cellphones are kicking our ass" that game makers have isn't an issue of losing to cellphones, its an issue of wanting that money.
It'd be like bicycle makers completely altering their business practice, changing bikes entirely to compete with skateboards.
Lets just keep both entities separate.
Yeah, I'd be awesome but it'd be so late in the game. You need top notch phones to compete in today's market. Maybe a partnership with apple...
I find it amusing that someone thinks
if you agree there's anything to add to the articleblind faith is a good business model.
@Damo Your poll doesn't mean what you think it means. You've split the only options other than 'Yes' into 'No' and 'Maybe'. But 'Yes' is still less than the combined total of the other two answers, meaning that the majority of people don't want one or aren't sure.
I would day one buy a nintenphone. It would be the first phone on the market with decent gaming on it and I'd guess have a raft of unique connectivity between the home console and 3ds.
@Mr_Flapjacks NOOOOOOO never Apple. Apple are the worst mobile phone on the market
nintendo themselves says mobile gaming or mobile in general is a fad, hell even intelligent people say that and nintendo will not risk in going mobile, why? well lets say this fad dies next year (mid of next year) and nintendo goes mobile now, what then? will nintendo gain anything by going mobile? no and also its taking sales from 3ds and wii u so nintendo isnt stupid enough to pull a stunt like that. sure nintendo can make their own mobile phone but again, it will take sales from their current hardware and people will say what point is there in getting a wii u and a 3ds. look at sony, they tried and failed hard, nintendo knows and wont risk it, investors keep complaining to nintendo to go mobile cuz its whats in and its what will make them money (for now until it dies) and nintendo says no over 9000 times and keep explaining why. microsoft hasn't gone handheld and they wont, partly because nintendo is king in the handheld department (and quality of games for both home and portable console) and because they focus on their brand, xbox.
If you want to play Nintendo games, buy a Nintendo CONSOLE.
That's Nintendo motto, should be it for now. We don't know what gaming will be in the next few years. Innovating is more difficult nowadays than 30, 20 years ago for several reasons (at least assuming the risks a video game company would take). The phone idea is very romantic, but there are lots of flaws already pointed by people in the commentaries. Like many tend to think, Nintendo is probably the only of the big three gaming manufactures that will stick to the traditional console gaming for at least a couple more 'generations' (I don't necessarily think that's the case, but stuff will change). Maybe there won't be a next Wii U or 3DS, but rather a Wii DS or something, but it's as far as Nintendo will probably go. The phone market is insanely huge (and growing) AND different from the game industry.
I'd possibly buy a Nintendo phone. The thing is that all the innovations this company made were with the notion of improving gaming experience in mind. This idea would only try to hit the masses, which I think is not the same as Nintendo's approach to casual gamers. If it happens, it must have something unique, something only Nintendo could do. Can anyone think what this something would be?
Nintendo shouldn't go android. Plus, my iphone is a lot more than the sum of its parts.
Going proprietary with their own os's and integration will add more value in their own ecosystem anyways.
Probably the only way I'll ever actually be convinced to buy a smart phone is if Nintendo makes one. But don't worry, even if I owned one I'd still spend as much time as possible complaining about smart phones, because I know how much people love that. And because I know how much you were all worried about it.
Ugh, no, please. Nintendo would make it's own OS, it would be way more closed off than Apple's and have way fewer apps. Nintendo's online stance is archaic and they don't have good ties with Western companies. Meaning the whole phone part would be useless, and I'd be cheaper off just getting a new handheld.
I'd rather see them integrate the handheld and console experience into one. You already see people claim "pick up a few 3DS games then!" when you complain about Wii U droughts, as if the Nintendo eco-system is 1 purchase. It should be: without 3rd party support they don't have enough games. Make a HD handheld that you can easily connect to your TV (wireless or HDMI) that comes with a controller (or works as cotroller) for TV play. Make the eShop super easy to publish on.
All your Nintendo gaming on one device that you can take anywhere, or play on a glorious HD screen.
Boom, you've just sold a WiiDS to me.
Just don't call it that, Nintendo ಠ_ಠ
If Nintendo created a smartphone, I would by it in the first second. I would be so sweet that I''m already dreaming of it. I would keep my 3DS of course, but that would solve a problem for me: play very good games (classic or indie) while I wait for my wife to call me in THE SAME DEVICE. Man, when it's going to be released?
Don't worry I agree that Nintendo should adapt and evolve per your very last point (although they never have in many instances), I just won't be happy playing Pokemon a mobile phone! Because I am very certain that's what they will need if this becomes a thing.
"I think it's bizarre that anyone would want them not to make a phone. That's tantamount to saying you don't want the company to grow or evolve in any way. I think they should--but I think they won't because they are incapable of understanding the industry or offering anything competitive."
How is jumping on the "phone" bandwagon evolving? Nintendo should make their next handheld matter even more, make it's purchase even more worth it compared to having just a phone.
Mobile phone gaming succes is not gonna last forever there is already a gross oversaturation on that market.
Nintendo could make their handheld a bit more 'web' oriented maybe making it compatible with your phone like say... a streetpass app so you can streetpass while not having your 3DS with you.
Make communication with mobile phones possible etc. rather then just making a phone.
Nintendo is a TOY company not an electronics manufacturer like sony or samsung.
@Hikingguy I don't think I missunderstood then. The Iphone launched in 2007, and even 1st gen had basically a home button, volume control and power button, that's it. Since then touchscreen became the state-of-the-art input for basically any device competing for the new smart phone market. There very few exceptions like Blackberry, but one could argue that they had a bit of a different target audience, and that sticking with their designs didn't really do them any good. The Xperia play launched in 2011 and you are probably right, it faced a changed landscape of tastes and preferences, but my point was this: It's 2014 now, and it would still face the same changed landscape, even more so I'd say.
You brought up Nokia's fall from grace, but the same is true for Nintendo. Last gen they were king, the Wii ruled supreme in sales, but so did the NDS. While the 3DS is doing fine, it's still not doing as great as the NDS did. Part of that is due to the change in perferences, the rise of smartphones and tablets for entertainment and gaming. All of that has gotten more prevalent, not less. There is no shift back towards physical input or devices designed around gaming, to the contrary many game designers, look at Mistwalker or S-Enix, have shifted to adapt to these changes.
I don't doubt you would buy one, heck, I might buy one, but what I doubt is that we are in any way representative for the larger population. I got a WiiU, form what you are saying I gather you got one, too, that doesn't mean the WiiU is a success story, or anything of the kind.
Nintendo today doesn't have the brand appeal it would need to make this a success outside of a somewhat niche sector, which might most likely not be enough to drive a phone of all things to success.
Successfully entering the phone market, esp. if you plan to turn it around in terms of preferences in use and design, has a somewhat high entry-barrier. Not only R&D and advertisment, but you are facing a number of tech companies like Apple, LG, Samsungs, Lenovo and so on, who operate on comparably huge economies of scale, that Nintendo can hardly match - not without taking very substantial financial risk with just one new device.
Judging from Nintendos past actions, that seems unlikely, meaning the would stick to operating on a smaller scale, minimizing risk, but driving up cost substantially ...
@S-Miyahon Yeah, because that's possible at that price....
Deleted my comment. I apologise.
I think I made a thread about this topic and majority said that Nintendo shouldn't compete with the smartphones but rather use them to get consumers into the Nintendo brand.......and here we see Nintendo life saying the opposite?
Look I get that the phone market is crashing the gaming handhelds but have you compared the quality and the power between the handheld and the phone? You can't put too much power on a phone because phones are basically meant to call from a distance and being that its smart, it can do more than just calling like getting emails, videos etc hence the term "Smartphone" and Nintendo making a "Smartphone" Separately requires then to work extremely hard on their wi-fi connection and internet speed and requires a lot of cost. Instead putting basic apps like some Pikmin tv shows or maybe a Mario Show (Make it happen Nintendo!) will motivate kids to buy Nintendo stuff!
It works for religion. Look up the size of Joel Osteen's mega-mansion sometime. You want to be really rich? Forget selling drugs. Sell faith.
Faith is blind devotion. I do not think anyone should ever "just have faith," nor do I find blindly following anything to be a valuable trait in any regard. You wouldn't buy a car without doing some research, and the same approach should be taken with all things in life.
I didn't just flat-out say "it would suck," I'm saying I don't have the confidence that Nintendo understands modern consumers enough to make it a viable platform, at least not with current management. Iwata, Miyamoto, and Reggie have already demonstrated that they don't understand the modern gaming industry or modern gamers. What evidence do we have that they understand the phone market?
I'd really like to see Nintendo grow and expand into other markets--movies and television production would be a good move for them as they're already an entertainment company--but investing in other technologies, such as phones, would be a smart move for them as well. But I think they need new management to do it right, and they need to use existing operating systems (like Android) so they aren't facing a steep uphill battle like Microsoft has had to deal with on their phones.
@Quorthon: I'm sure it does.
I just meant to say that Nintendo shouldn't rely on hope alone if they were ever to make their own smartphone.
Nor is blind faith a very fertile soil for a good discussion.
@Damo To be fair, the poll asks if you would buy a Nintendo phone if there was one. It doesn't necessarily ask if you support the idea of a Nintendo phone
Perhaps you can add a second question that asks something like "Do you support this idea?"
Personally, I think it's more appropriate for Nintendo to make a tablet. I wouldn't be surprised if they actually make a tablet before this generation is over. A stand alone tablet that could double as a wii u gamepad as well. It just seems like the kind of thing they would do (thinking along the lines of wii remote plus).
Oh, gotcha. Nintendo has been spending a inordinate amount of time banking on blind devotion and hope for future games this generation, and it's preventing them from getting sales. It would be disastrous for them to do that with a phone. Or that Quality of Life thing--in which I have zero confidence.
I'm in for a Nintendo Phone.
No way! It would eat up an awful lot of money for R&D and marketing and the chances of it being a succes AND make some money are very close to zero. Look what happened to Sony Erickson, Nokia or the Windows Phone platform.
Wow, lots of strong negative opinions on this topic! I think it would be great. If I had a nickel for everytime I'd wished I could make a call or send a text on my 3ds, it would pay for a Nintendo phone. A sturdy, reliable, glitch free phone with apps that always work!
However, I am not a big fan of mobile gaming and shovelware in general. I would way rather Nintendo used the phone to bridge the Wii U and 3ds. For example, if you set Smash as your favorite game on 3ds, your phone would automatically bring up Smash Bros wallpaper. The music player would have the soundtrack to listen to, ringtones too. And why not get updates sent with tips on fighting as your favorite character?
The point is, they could use it to promote and supplement what they are already doing and add value to their customers. It doesn't mean they have to devolve into making awful mobile games.
This is a terrible idea. Whoever wrote this article needs to close their laptop and get back to Angry Birds; Expanded Mega Movie Moron Expansion Pay Per Play Plus. Or Candy Crush Diabetes.
@Hikingguy I share your sentiments about Nintendo, and honestly, I don't know what they should be doing next.
One thing though, I think, would make sense for them to do - and I've been saying this for years - is to test the waters.
What do I mean by that? For example, think about the 3DS or the New3DS ... I wonder why they never try to see how far they can push consumer spending. I would have loved to see a kind of "premium" 3DS being offered for more discerning users, maybe Nintendo fans in their 20s/30s, with a more sizeable disposable income. Stuff like an OLED screen with proper black levels and high contrast. I also got a "phat" Vita, and the screen is just lovely, I always wish I could play Luigis Mansion and 3D Land and Fire Emblem using the Vita screen ... everything just pops thanks to vivid colors and high contrast, with deep blacks - it's not just the resolution. The Vita has also a excellent DAC build in and really shines as a music player with a good pair of headsets ... if it were less clunky a device I would never willingly use my old Iphone for music on the go.
I was saying the same about amiibos recently, why not have two lines, a "standart" ("toys") line and a "premium" ("collectors") line, they could have paired with one of the big makers like Figma to create amiibos which I would be totally willing to pay $40-60 bucks for, not because they are amiibos (maybe in time, sofar it would be just a bonus), but because they are lovely designs of some of my favourite characters, some of which are among the most iconic in not only gaming but pop-culture. Quite a few of them had little to no merchandise at all sofar, so there is a completely unsaturated market out there for those kind of items.
I ordered - against by better judgement - Marth and Ike amiibos, because well, there is not much else for Marth and Ike, and I love the games and I love the characters, but I would have vastly prefered to be able to get an amiibo like the new Lucina Figma figure, even if it would have been 5x as expensive. Anyone more interested in the simpler toy-like design and the amiibo functionality (I wouldn't recommend buying $50 collector items for kids to play with^^), could still buy those, everyone with the cash and the willingness to invest a bit more, could do just that and get his moneys' worth.
This way Nintendo could also gauge the interest in such commodities, and get a better feeling for their new audience, because often I feel they still operate as if it were the 90s ... many of us who grew up with their stuff in the 90s are no longer restricted by our allowance, and we still love Nintendo all the same I feel Nintendo is not tapping that potential so far, which is a shame for both sides.
Another thing that might be worth considering for the future is a return to high end performance (as far as consoles go). That would certainly help with third party support and WAY more important with public perception. Again it is not the 90s anymore, people care (even if they don't understand it all) about fps and resolution and all that. There are sites like digital foundary, that fuel this "attention" to technical aspects also. This is not the general public/consumer that cares, but the "core" gamer ... that would be bad enough for a dedicated gaming system, but those type of consumes are often opinion leaders. They influence huge number of other, less discerning users, in their decision making. Mabye Nintendo should aim for at least rough parity with the competition in the future, and less for being the cheapest one around. The marketplace has changed ... this cannot be ignored.
Also, people, esp. loyal Nintendo fans, used to say that graphics don't matter, but come on ... I remember seeing peoples jaw drop when they saw the Zelda Trailer ... We want Nintendo to make great games, but we also want them to make games that look and sound great, it's not about photorealism, it's about visual appeal, and about scale: Gorgeous open-world Zelda? Yessss please!
The Wii was the right device, at the right time. I don't think the same is true for the WiiU ... expectations have changed, the consumerbase has changed.
If Nintendo wanted to recapture the WiiU crowd they might be best served by going mobil and 3rd-party. I don't see any other way, if they don't want to do that, they either have to come up with something entirely original overthrowing the established order, or they have to duck it out with the other players, betting on their strengths while leaving themselves as little as possible open to attack.
All that involves considerable risks, short-term as well as long-term (we have seen repeatedly how development cost on high-end AAA can spiral out of controll), but I don't see any alternatives. Nintendo is generation experience now with HD development, they have alot of experience in-house with hardware and software development, they know how to keep costs in check .... The WiiU is clearly a timid step in this direction, too timid I'm afraid, but I hope they draw the right conclusions and go all-out with whatever they come up next.
I couldn't agree more on them returning to high-end, power-heavy consoles. The SNES, N64, and GameCube were all power-houses, and that was the Nintendo I remember as a kid. Even the NES, despite being the weaker console of it's generation (if you include the TG-16), had some decent heft and was considerably more impressive than anything that came before. And that includes the ahead-of-its-time 16-bit Intellivision (first 16-bit console).
Nintendo under-powering the Wii U and 3DS comes at a hefty cost--third party developers and development tools largely don't work on the systems. When third parties need to find way to cut development costs, one way they do that is by using an existing engine rather than trying to build their own. When those engines don't run on the Wii U or 3DS, then those systems aren't going to get the games. Poor sales of these platforms also prevent third parties from being willing to work around the lack of a modern engine, as they were occasionally willing to on the Wii.
I think the biggest problem is simply that Nintendo is and looks out of touch with modern gamers and gaming. The profile system is antiquated, there is no system-wide achievement or trophy system. For a brief time after the Wii U was out, I felt like a pressure had been lifted because I wasn't worrying about Achievements anymore, but as I delve deeper into my new-found Sony playing (last generation, I was mostly on the X360 and DS, now the PS4, Vita, and 3DS), I find that I enjoy earning Achievements and Trophies and that this is a norm in the industry now. Nintendo should be incorporating this. They're still a generation or more behind in online gaming and match-making. Their reward system (with Club Nintendo) looks downright pathetic compared to the rewards and subscription systems offered by Microsoft and Sony. Seriously, I got 5 games from Sony this month for the equivalent of $1 a piece. Compare to Nintendo where after I buy four retail games, I can maybe get an unimpressive (first or second-party only) downloadable title for my 3DS. That's 5 games for over $200 compared to the five I just got from Sony for $5.
Nintendo simply looks out of touch.
Their other major problem--and I have no idea how they can get out of this--is that their biggest fans (and they hate hearing this) are their most detrimental consumers. Core Nintendo fans are like core Apple fans. They think the company can do no wrong, they worship it's higher-ups like demigods, they spend the vast majority of their money on the first party and nothing else. They're simultaneously helping to drive off third party support by ignoring them, while pigeonholing Nintendo into fearing to make new games, franchises, or experiments.
Zelda games used to be a big deal, but now it's an annual franchise that, outside of this fanbase, looks like Nintendo clinging to the same old crap over and over again, while never bothering to appeal to other consumers. I've pointed out before that since 1998, there has only been three years without a new Zelda game, and some of those years, there was actually two.
The fans treat Nintendo like a third party company who has a console, not like a console maker who has a whole library of games. They buy Nintendo consoles, spend almost all their money only on Nintendo games, and then sit back begging for more remakes and re-releases in the same three franchises (Mario, Zelda, Pokemon) and Super Metroid over and over again, despite the fact that every game made to evoke fandom of Super Metroid (Fusion, Zero Mission, Other M) have gradually gotten worse. Right now, Nintendo looks desperate to appeal to their core fanbase as they have no idea how to appeal to anyone else.
Nintendo helped invent modern gaming, then forgot how to evolve with gaming--and now they're the crotchety old company that doesn't know how to appeal to anyone now.
I actually thought the Xperia would be a Nintendo killer when it came out, and I even considered getting one, but so-so reviews and a lack of content warned me off of it. I think the general failure of the Fire phone shows that a branded, closed-universe Android device is not really a great idea. Nintendo's would be a niche product without the caché of the current popular smartphone brands, and I think the user base would be too small to support the device.
I would probably get one because I really love gaming and Nintendo, but if it doesn't do productivity very well, I would also need another device for that purpose. Grown ups like me mostly use phones for productivity and occasional bouts of casual Words with Friends or Angry Birds. For serious gaming needs I use a dedicated console like the 3DS or Wii U. If they want to flip that relationship, it still has to do productivity really well.
I don't really know where Nintendo goes from here. I suspect it will be a unified portable/home console platform that work together, sort of like if you could take the Wii U Game Pad with you and play games on the go (but presumably smaller). Apple has made strides doing something similar with iPhone/iPad apps, but I don't really know how that would play out for Nintendo. I can't see it being that exciting or revelatory in the way Nintendo likes to be.
One thing Nintendo definitely has going for it is consistently good performance in the portable market. People do seem to prefer Nintendo-made portable gaming devices, so to the extent the market for something like this exists, I think Nintendo could tap into it. I just think anyone who wades into the smartphone market without a TON of effort and support from major carriers and developers is pure crazy. Even Microsoft has struggled to make a dent in the smartphone world.
I like Nintendo's current conservative course. Work on a mobile app that ties into the Nintendo ecosystem, see how it works and where it goes, and use that as a springboard to learn lessons and develop a broader online strategy.
I should also point out that if it did make a phone, I think Nintendo should consider revisiting some of its older branding ideas, which appeal to adults with disposable income. Use the "Game Boy" brand for the phone, since it conjures nostalgia and ruggedness. Make that the focus for the hardware: tough as nails, just like the old game boy, but slimmer and plays newer games. Make it plastic and waterproof. Parents would get it for their kids if it were cheaper and more durable than an iPhone or iPad. Older folks who care more about lasting products and price than power and caché might also give it a shot.
Just some thoughts.
@Manaphy2007 I highly doubt that mobile is a fad, it's far too convenient to be abandoned so easily. Movies, music, games, internet, messaging, and apps all wrapped up in a device that can fit in my pocket? Why would I not want that unless something better comes along? You do raise a good point in that Nintendo shouldn't put all of their eggs in one basket. But then, they've been doing that for a while now and they're only now starting to branch into other markets with Amiibo and the QoL. And that's the issue here, they need to move into other markets if they want to remain profitable. Sure, right now Nintendo might be surviving in the console market now, but how long to you think the console market itself is going to last? The market seems to care more about multimedia than dedicated gaming these days and consoles are starting to reach their limits. It's very short sighted of Nintendo to write off mobile like this, they should be taking notes on what people want out of mobile and change their business model to meet their needs.
maybe I am weird, but I just want a phone to make calls, texts, browse emails sometimes (not often). Maybe use the calendar. Then I have a 3DS / DS for games and stuff - I carry both around with me. Why the obsession with mobile phones for games? I tried it, hated it, really hated the battery drain when I needed to use it for calls. Its a load of poope - maybe if you are the type who just wants to play Candy Crush while waiting for a bus for about 5 minutes it might be good for that.
@Quorthon I think what we do have is good evidence that Nintendo knows how to make and market a successful portable device. There is ample evidence that they struggle with modern networking, which is a huge problem with a phone, but they make good and popular portable devices with excellent games that get ample third party support. So they really just have to figure out the networking part and I think they could do it.
I still don't really think a Nintendo phone is a great idea, but I don't think it's an instant disaster. I would definitely be skeptical, but if Nintendo has ever earned anything, it's the benefit of the doubt from me. They are a pretty irrepressible company that does not shy away from doing things differently from their competitors.
@heathenmagic That's exactly the point of mobile gaming, actually.
@Quorthon Well, I wouldn't say they don't know how to appeal to anyone, but I do agree with most of your assesment otherwise. I'm not sure I would take that grim an outlook, the recent game announcements look promising, and they seem to be willing to evolve and adapt - up to a point. You mentioned Zelda, and from what I can tell, they took some hints from the industry at lare when it comes to open-word for example. The e-shop is a hopeful sign, too, so is online in MK8 and SSB. Splatoon as well, provided it runs smoothly and features voice-chat. All in all I think the WiiU can be profitable to them in end, as well as give them the experience they need to mostly close technical gap with the next generation - if they choose to.
I think more so than this, the next generation will be crucial for Nintendo. They either become even more of a niche onto themselves or they can re-establish themselves as a major provider of electronic entertainment. At this point that is anyone's guess, they have been slow in changing their ways, maybe that is not for the worst in the end, but they will have to make a significant jumb with whatever comes next - it'S just not as significant a jumb as I would have thought it will be like 2 years ago, or even 1 year ago. If they can keep going at a steady pace in that direction, and get the timing right and are willing to take a leap of faith at the end of the line of this generation ........
Next step for Nintendo should be:
a Nintendo Tablet (like the GamePad) that is primarily portable (like 3DS), but can also be plugged into a TV to play a game.
and a Nintendo Phone.
People buy tablets and IPhones not for the purpose of accessing specific content, but that these devices offer a fashionable means of accessing media which is fleetingly deemed by contemporary society as necessary or desirable. The mobile market only seems painfully obvious as the next logical avenue for Nintendo because it also seems the most easy- it is an incredibly volatile market dominated by consumers who demand not quality, but free use of the simplest possible content, often pirated material.
Nintendo would be foolish to step into this arena- as foolish as they would also be to not have considered doing so years ago.
I have faith in their business logic, and am delighted in their restraint concerning armchair business consultants, or demands from a market which has no real intention or purpose to invest should Nintendo pursue the mobile 'market'.
Its probably coming at some point. I love my 3ds gaming but have never been able to get comfortable gaming on my phone. I think its having a control pad. Touchscreen controls just seem lame.
For now I'd be fine with just a Nintendo app that can:
1) Allow me to visit and buy games from the eShop on my phone at will and even tell my Wii U to start downloading by my command.
2) Keep countdown timers and constant updates to game release dates.
3) Connect me to all Nintendo related news from Nintendo as well as the Miiverse.
4) Download and play special Nintendo themed "simple" phone games that are too simplistic for 3DS but perfect for phone play.
5) Allow my phone to operate my Wii U for most things like turning it on, navigating my menu, starting apps, etc.
Bonus) Have it reports various health and life related stuff to Wii Fit U
I'll stop there, but I know there has to be some sort of "useful" application of Nintendo's world within a mobile phone world. Perhaps when we learn more about the QoL, maybe Nintendo has already considered some of these ideas...
Oh yeah, when it comes to portable devices, Nintendo seems to understand that, even with the 3DS lagging far behind the DS--the system is still slaughtering the Wii U, GameCube, N64, and even the SNES, I think.
Frankly, I think Nintendo and Sony should just do a kind of merger. Nintendo make the portable, Sony make the console, and they both support both consoles. This could also help force the industry to finally move towards a single-console industry standard because having separate, dedicated machines is not helping to reach mass audiences.
I've been under the impression that Mario Kart 8 online was a barren desert. Are people actually using it now? Smash annoys me online because it still seems dominated by that dedicated loser who uses the exact same fighter in every single fight--who they've practiced with for two or three generations now--and rather than keeping that crap in the "For Glory" mode, they're ruining the For Fun mode by forgetting it's supposed to be about fun. It's not fun to fight the same character over and over ad nauseam.
To be fair, Nintendo does know how to appeal to one group: Dedicated Nintendo fans. That's why they churn out several games per year with Mario plastered on the cover, and major Zelda and Pokemon titles every single year.
But they clearly don't understand regular gamers or consumers. This was evidenced when Reggie claimed that the Wii U was a better bargain with two games than the Xbox One, which was only $50 more, came with one or two games, a massive harddrive, strong third party support, and is a vastly more powerful machine. He boiled it all down to "console + 2 games for $300" versus "console + 1 or 2 games for $350" and either doesn't understand modern consumers, or assumes they're all too stupid to look at the details. Because it was not such a black-and-white comparison.
Xbox Ones actually went cheaper than that over the Black Friday weekend, and my girlfriend bought one with two Assassin's Creed games, which included its 500GB harddrive, for only $30 more than the Wii U.
Anyway, my point on the phone front is that they definitely need to expand into new areas and try new technologies, but that under current management, I don't think they know how. The longer Iwata and Reggie are around constantly talking up "hey we have Mario and Zelda" like that's all that matters, the less inclined I am to listen--and the rest of the industry seems to feel the same. Sony just showed off a bunch of new games at the Playstation Experience, in a wide variety of genres.
Yes, the new Zelda looks impressive (if overly empty right now), but at the end of the day, the company is still going back to Zelda. Sony is showing new titles in strong franchises--like Uncharted, but they're also showing off more and more new games, like The Order 1886 and No Man's Sky, etc.
Nintendo needs a change in management. And then they need to expand their business.
They should just licence web os from hp. That way they can control what's going into phone. Hell even use tizen from samsung that would help get them off the ground and while they're at it use a device from Sammy since they make too many. They're are just so many options for them to do to make a proper phone. They can do it mii verse is the key! Everyone loves the service just incorporate it with and updated connected account service. Win win for Nintendo and is the consumers.
@Quorthon MK8 isn't barren, at least in my experience. Anyways what I meant is, that it worked really smoothly for me, actually more smoothly than some other big releases on other systems (looking at Halo, Drive Club and so, even Destiny ended up having at least 2 extreme laggy players in about 9/10 crucible matches I played).
If people don't use MK8 online, despite it being a great game and having a good online mode (some annoyances like missing party-join/chat aside), it's hard to blame Nintendo. I'd say the same goes for SSB, the way you describe it. Nintendo can't and probably shouldn't force people to play online, or to use a variety of characters or so on.
I don't want MK8 turned into an always-on experience (once you played the game you realize for no good reason basically) like Destiny, even if it helped online player counts.
Your point about Mario and Zelda is well taken, but the thing is many people want these games, these games tend to be high quality, and more often than not they sell rather good - so there is little incentive to not make them. Sony also has it's go-to franchises, Uncharted is just, one, there is a new God of War in development, and we already got another Infamous. The Order is a new IP, and I'm looking forward to play it (actually I already got it ordered), since I really like the style and the setting, and I loved Ready at Dawns God of War efforts, esp. Ghost of Sparta. On the other hand it is another "mature" dark&gritty 3rd-person-cover-based shooter, more or less in alleys and linear from what I can tell - really nothing new, quite to the contrary.
I think Nintendo cannot be blamed here, Splatoon looks hand down fantastic, and more important unique and fresh - way, way more so than The Order or even Bloodborne. It's one of the most refreshing things I've seen all year in gaming. Open-Word Zelda might also be something we have not seen before, we'll have to wait and see on that. I definitely appreciate Captain Toad, since a AAA/Retail puzzle game is rare, and Toad is also an inspired, wholly unique game. 'X' is probably at least as originally as any other open-world RPG out there, bei it DA:I or stuff in development like FFXV or Witcher 3. If Xenoblade is anything to go by (or Monoliths past in general) it can stand toe-to-toe with all of those, and still be very much it's own game. Actually I'm more sceptical towards FFXV; graphics look great, but that didn't help the FFXIII gameSSS one bit in terms of acutally quality.
I'm also curios about Miyamotos current projects, Robot and Guard as well as Star Fox.
Anyways, before E3 I would have completely agreed with you, Nintendo was painting-by-the-numbers, but as of now, I can't really see it. Everyone got interesting and unique games in his portfolio, Sony is more on the indie side of the spectrum with stuff like Rime, Abzu, Tomorrow Children and son, M$ will certainly impress with Quantum Break, Crackdown 3, Phantom Dust (if the original is anything to go by) ...
As for Reggie, I don't know, I never paid that much attention, to me it was just "buy us, we are the best (value/performance) .. whatever". I didn't take his meaning literal, it's just advertisment to me. Everyone does it, it doesn't matter if it's Reggie or Phil Spencer or Andrew House - I doubt anyone takes them really serious, they say what they have to say, it's not really about facts, it can't be, because three systems can't be the "best place to game" at the same time ^^
As for management, Nintendo is certainly a special case, it's a Japanse company, way more so than even Sony, and certainly different from M$. I have no idea, if a new "headcoach" (to use a sports metaphor, if a team plays bad, you replace the coach, not because it is his fault necessarily, but because it is his reponsibility and it's way easier and cheaper, than to replace a rooster of players^^) would mean things were to get better automatically. Like I said Nintendo is struggling for it's new place in a profoundly changed marketplace, they can't abandon who and what they are, neither should they btw, but they need to adapt to survive without loosing what made them successful in the first place.
That's a tough challenge, one not only Nintendo is facing, and there doesn't seem to be a magic formula any of those high-paid CEOs can come up with.
I don't think a phone would be a good idea, for the reasons I stated above. It could be done, but it would mean that Nintendo would have to change rather drastically, and they would definitely need a partner in such a venture. Doing it by themselves is absolutely no option in terms of the mobile phone market - that in itself would mean the company had to face some serious reorientation. I always thought Apple-Nintendo-Disney could form a real bad-ass entertainment/delivery conglomerate - beneficial to all of them .... might be one option ^^
I think 2015 will be quite telling in many ways. We'll see if the WiiU can be turned into a moderate success, how Nintendo fares with large-scale HD development beyond established borders like SSB/MK, we'll get to see how amiibo does, as well as the New3DS, how much innovation they have left with stuff like Splatoon and Star Fox ... it will be quite interesting to observe
I certainly don't want Nintendo to abandon who they are, but I would really like them to modernize. Profile-based systems, current-gen hardware, a profile-based achievement system, working directly with 3rd parties on projects, strong online presence, an optional paid service, and things like that.
I understand that Mario and Zelda sell, the issue I note is that Nintendo is now over-using them to the point that they only sell to Nintendo fans and for everyone else, it just looks like the company is either incapable or uninterested in a wider variety. The new Zelda looks intriguing, but time will tell if it rises above the heavily predictable and formulaic gameplay that defines 90% of the series. The thing is, these used to be major events--now they're annual events. Mario appears on games--at a minimum--three times a year, and every year seems to see countless titles spun-off from Mario in some way: Captain Toad, Luigi, Donkey Kong, Wario, Yoshi--these are all, by extension, just more Mario games. And then there's all the spin-offs: Mario Kart, Mario Party, Mario Tennis, Mario Basketball, Mario vs Donkey Kong, Paper Mario, Mario & Luigi--great Cthulhu's ghost, enough is enough!
I was disappointed by E3 this year because, while Zelda looked good and Splatoon looks awesome, it was held back by largely including all the same games and content from the previous E3. Bayonetta, Xenoblade Chronicles, Yarn Yoshi, more Mario--it just reeked of desperation of a company that simply doesn't have enough to show.
Nintendo fans are too dismissive of games on other platforms due to gritty graphics or being shooters, and (and I'm not targeting you here) it comes off as childish and woefully ignorant. I was dismissive of some of these games at one time--then I played them. Fallout instantly became a favorite franchise. Gears of War became the franchise my girlfriend and I most played together. Yes, Gears is linear and I think they may have reached the limits to what they could do there, but damn, they were tons of fun. Crackdown, Prototype, Ratchet & Clank, Uncharted. I won't personally defend Halo as I feel the franchise is stagnating--much the same way I view Zelda or Mario games.
There is another issue--and I'm sure you've seen it with games like Xenoblade and Splatoon: Nintendo fans don't give a crap. The original Xenoblade never sold a million copies, and on any other platform, it would have. Nintendo announced a god damn remake of one of the least popular, most different and difficult Zelda games, and just reading "Zelda 3D remake" is all a vast, terrifying majority needed to see to no longer care at all about Splatoon, or Xenoblade. Almost no one talks about Devil's Third.
I'm not sure what Nintendo can do to change their fans to care about something more than Mario, Zelda, and Pokemon, but these fans are sinking the company.
Regardless of personal tastes, here's the reality:
1. Nintendo fans are increasingly xenophobic toward anything not made by Nintendo. This not only costs Nintendo support, but also revenue.
2. Gamers outside of Nintendo don't notice games like Splatoon or Xenoblade, which might sell consoles, because all they see is constant promoting of the same three things: Mario, Zelda, Pokemon.
3. Nintendo fans talk big about exclusives, but have a history of not supporting them at retail unless its of the Mario-Zelda-Pokemon (MZP) ilk. Eternal Darkness, Geist, Last Story, Xenoblade Chronicles, Tatsunoko vs Capcom, Bayonetta 2, Resident Evil 4, several Wii and GameCube games--even the brilliant Fire Emblem franchise was on the verge of extinction in the West because fans have typically not cared about the games. One of the rare smart things Reggie said is that names on a petition do not equal sales, and after all the hubbub of Operation Rainfall (which I note as being a failure as it only met 1/3 of it's stated goal, getting Nintendo to release three games in the West), the games had pathetic sales. Perhaps further evidence that Operation Rainfall was a failure--almost no one bought the games they claimed they wanted. Sin & Punishment: Star Successor was ignored at retail.
4. Gamers outside of Nintendo do not feel that Nintendo cares about them, and this is a holdover from the Wii, where Nintendo under-powered the console which prevented then-current gen engines from running on it.
5. Nintendo tries too hard at faux innovation and trying to be "different" that is less and less important, and seems more and more gimmicky to the general public. Compare to the PS4, which is all the basics of a game system, but smoothed over in a lot of ways, particularly a far better controller and dashboard (which I think is the best menu of this generation, as everything is easily done on a single screen). Sony delivered exactly what consumers wanted--recognizable and improved gaming, with no severe learning curve or questionable extra features. Consumers have shown that they do not like Kinect or the GamePad. This was also not the right generation to be innovating--historically, major innovations are every-other-generation, so Nintendo trying it twice in a row was bound to be disastrous.
6. Nintendo's technological quirks and inventions are no longer industry innovations leading to new norms a la the NES, SNES, and N64 (analog stick, rumble). Instead, they are repeatedly changing things which confuse and alienate consumers, and the rest of the industry promptly ignores these new concepts in favor of using proven concepts with minor advancements.
At this point, I don't think the Wii U can be turned into a success, moderate or otherwise. It has been out the same amount of time as the run of the Dreamcast, and it has sold less than the Dreamcast, which topped out at 10 million in it's (roughly) two years. The GameCube also averaged higher sales, churning out 21 million in 5 years, averaging 4.2 million per year. The Wii U is currently averaging just under 4 million per year. Nintendo may come to a point of profitability by the end, but it's going to be a slog, and I fully expect a management change before the next console is released.
Nintendo will survive, but their next console will either be their PS4 (their return to glory) or their Dreamcast (their last hurrah before going 3rd party). One thing seems quite certain, though, the Wii U will be discontinued early. Well ahead of the PS4 and Xbox One.
I don't think merging with Apple or Disney would be a good idea. Apple clearly doesn't understand gaming, and Disney would gut the company. A partnership with Sony would be their smartest move, even in the face of the decade of losses Sony endured before starting to turn things around this year.
This was to illustrate Nintendo's stance in the industry, and how they're viewed from the outside, and to show that while Nintendo fans often rush to the internet to champion various things--like Splatoon and Xenoblade--when it comes to the open market, they keep their wallets closed, ultimately killing or damaging these very concepts.
what nintendo needs to do is release their own mini games to android and ios. the unity3d game engine already supports nintendo consoles, and as well it is the perfect cross platform development choice. does anyone remember the mini games from mario 64 ds you could unlock? they were really inventive and used the brand new touch screen in neat ways. these games would've been huge hits if they had released them as mobile games.
@Quorthon First let me say this, and don't take it the wrong way, but it seems I finally met someone more prone to "textwalls" than me ^^
I'd certainly agree that Nintendo should modernize, if that means doing the same stuff as Sony and Microsoft is another question. For example, personally, I don't care neither for trophies nor for achievments. There are some games, which make an effort, creating tasks to earn them, that are worthwhile and challenging (not just repetitive and time-consuming like most), but those seem, to me, few and far between. The rest of the features (I'm just gonna tag them as such, for sake of convenience) you mentioned I would certainly like to see on Nintendo platforms as well. I made the case against praising Nintendo for it's "free online", because of a value consideration in favour of PS+ as well as the more robust and feature-rich online environment created by Sony, and at least as much Microsoft.
Still, like I said, I was surprised by how lag-free, easy to use and overall enjoyable online has grown with MK8, despite it being free. Of course, this is just one aspect of the issue of PSN/PS+, XLive/XLG vs Nintendo Network. It's not nothing though.
As for Zelda, beyond the argument I made before, I would also say, that counting remakes or handheld version in with console ones, is not really justified. In that regard, Skyward Sword was 2011, that is 4 years on 2015, so Zelda WiiU will still be special, at least to me - not to say I didn't enjoy ALBW on 3DS, but it'S just not the same, and Majoras Mask will be a remake, a widely demanded one at that. As for Mario, I'm not a big platform-lover, I played 3D land on the 3DS since I got it for free and to my surprise I liked it quite a bit, that's why I got 3D World, which are basically the only Mario platforming games I played in years. I can't really speak to some kind of oversaturation or inflation of the brand in that regard.
I do have to say though, that I'm not sure what you are getting at with e.g. Luigis (Mansion?) or Captain Toad. Not only are they completely different games and even genres, but they are also different characters, sure they originate from the Mario-verse, but what is the harm? Do you mean they lake gloabal appeal because of that? That completely new characters would fare better?
I'm not so sure about that, but Splatoon will give us a good indication as to whether or not that is something that Nintendo should be paying more attention to.
In terms of E3, the company that had the least to show, in my book, was clearly Sony. Basically all they offered were stuff we already knew, some Indie games, some multiplatform games, TV shows (da hell^^) and yeah, Vita TV if I remember correctly.
I was most excited by Microsoft, but mostly because they just teased stuff, giving my imagination a license to run free, and it certainly did (bought a X1 the weekend after E3). I can't wait to see Crackdown 3 in action - I loved Crackdown 1, to me one of the first true next-gen games of the last generation - same is true for Scalebound (especially after playing Bayonetta 2) and Phantom Dust (if you look at the story behind the publication, or delay in the US and lack thereof in Europe, you can tell, that this is a watershed moment for the X1 ... most people didn't really pick up on that though).
Both M$ and Sony of course showed stuff, we had already seen before. To me, again this is just my personal take, when it came to NEVER-B4-SEEN and ACTUAL gameplay, Nintendo flatout won, there was the amazing Zelda trailer, as well as the fantastic Splatoon introduction. If I put that up against he footage of Let It Die on PS4 for example ... well it is not really a competition.
Looking at Splatoon I certainly agree Nintendo should do way more things aside from their usual Mario fare (like I said I'm not counting Luigis Mansion or Captain Toad towards those).
I can only say I think Nintendo should put a lot more ressources into Intelligent System for example, and really let those guys and gals go to down with stuff like Fire Emblem and Advance Wars. FE:A and SMTxFE are good starts, so is their work with Monolith, but more can be done. I want a sequel to Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn (bundled with remakes and rereleases of those games). I want more Advance wars, I want to see what else Intelligent System can came up with, given the chance. I want them to give more "young" talent a chance to shine and try new things, as they did with said Splatoon, I bet there are plenty of good ideas floating around Nintendo EAD and around it. No argument there, but on the other hand I'm also happy that Zelda is back, that Star Fox is back ... maybe I'm part of the problem that is holding them back I don't know, I want both Zelda and Star Fox are a link back to my childhood on SNES and N64, aside from being great games more often than not, and that link can absolutely not be lost. It would be foolish and I would not appreciate it.
It's a narrow line Nintendo is walking on, especially with it'S limited ressources and gaming being basically it's only leg to stand on ... considering that I think they are doing a reasonable job. Like I said, if all those games they presented at E3 deliver on their promise, in 2015!! not less, I think noone can argue against their 1st-party line-up.
As for e.g. the aforementioned Let it die, it looks a lot like the "gritty ... shooters" you metioned, and Splatoon just looks colorful, looks tactical, looks non-shooter shooter-ish, if that makes any sense. I appreciate you didn't direct your criticism of Nintendo fans at me, because I do appreciate these games, like I said, I already got my order down for Bloodborne and The Order (thanks to a Sony promotion offering $15 credit back^^) and I'm currently playing Halo:MCE also. Overall I think your criticism is justified, there are great dark&gritty games out there, great shooters out there, and many self-prescribed Nintendo fans are way too quick to dismiss them. Often enough it is my impression as well, that these kind of judgment calls are based purely on conjecture ... and I try to call people out on that whenever I can.
Furthermore, that whole notion that the X1 is basically just Halo and Gears, is just as silly, just as Sony is more than Uncharted and God of War.
The thing is, while Nintendo fans should not dismiss these games out of hand, it's also true that there are plenty of companies making these kind of games, so I don't really need or want Nintendo to do the same. Nintendo can do a dark and gritty linear shooter, if they want to, but I really don't see the upside to it, I'm more than happy if they leave that to 343 and Ready at Dawn, they should stick to their guns and do stuff like Splatoon. Again, it's a terrible narrow line I feel Nintendo is supposed to be wallking - thanks to people like me no less - between the old and the new, the traditional and the modern (I don't want Ubisoft style polish on my Nintendo games - despite it being en vogue so to speak - godddd noooo please^^).
I agree it is troubling that the most loyal fanbase seems not really all that open to new stuff, but it's up to Nintendo to make good ideas into compelling new games and SELL them the right way to their core audience. Like I said 2015 will tell us more about how they are doing in that regard.
I think it is interesting that you brought up Devils Third ... I have to admit I myself forget about it occasionally. The truth is, that I wasn't impressed by what I saw. The graphis look alright, it seemed to "wonky" for my taste, what the said about the multiplayer smelled of over-promising and I'm just no Itagaki fan. I liked NG 1, at least the part were you are slicing at people not monsters and well ... that is about it, NG2 was ok, 3 was a mess. I rather play Bayonetta or so. But it goes beyond that, and I see a game I don't really need - not from this dev, not on this system, not with those graphics, not with that style. Maybe if it looked more like MGS Phantom Pain, in terms of graphics, smooth controls and so on, I might be slightly more interested ... I can't say, I'm certainly biased against it for the reasons I named and then some.
As for your points one-by-one ... ^^
1) Yes, that is probably true, although I'm not yet sure about the extent to which this is true, and also if this is really limited to Nintendo (there are other examples where companys "abadon" old properties to branch out just for fans to go nuts - in a bad way - about it), as well if it is more a weakness or a strength. Looking at Pokemon I see a biiggggg seller, one Nintendo can produce at which I assume are comparably low costs. Kind of their Call of Duty, maybe even better, speaking relative cost-benefit here.
2) That is very much true. The best PR job they are doing is Nintendo Direct, (E3 was well done as well) but those are only, or mostly watched by those already interested or invested. They are basically preaching to the choire, to use the proverb, which has to be done of course, but can't be all you do - or all you do well.
3) Also very much true, but ties in with point 1) I think, and it's also not an issue exclusive to Nintendo. There are quite a few Sony franchises people clamor for, but sell badly, the reason for this is simple enough: it's called a vocal minority, and in this day and age of the internet, this phenomenon is more pervasive than ever before.
As for operation Rainfall ... man that is a clusterf***. If I may say a few words on this - purely a personal rant so be warned ^^ First off, the fact that it took them so long, really didn't help at all. At some point people loose interest, esp. if you are reluctant to feed that interest - and boy if anyone is reluctant than it was (and still is in many ways) NINTENDO. Then there was the issue of stock .. I lost interest in Xenoblade due to other stuff coming up, and when I pivoted back it was an offensively expensive game, all the while being a total visual throwback to PS2 (not quite but close enough). That was even worse with The Last Story, when I finally got to play it last year, it didn't really click with me, not as much as Lost Odyssey for example or Xenoblade which was way to easy but still a lot of fun, and I thought it was plain ugly. It is also prohibitively expensive. I might give Last Story another shot if it were on the e-shop for let's $15 .. or $20. Aside from that ... well no.
As for Bayonetta well it'S true but then again, this is not Nintendo or their userbase. Platinum Games are great and sell most really bad - not only on Nintendo platforms. People should be ashamed of themselves, esp. with Bayonetta 2, who has fantastic voice acting and excellent witty writing and a decent enough story (by videogames standarts).
Gamecube and it's gems like Eternal Darkness make me just said ... that's all I can say ^^
Not as sad as Fire Emblem, when I read that Awakening could have been the last entry (if it hadn't sold so well) I really wanted to go around just punch people in the face I hope the fact that they made FE:A more accessible (thankfully that was optional), the fact that it got AMAZING press coverage (it was the game that made me buy a 3DS - import one from eh U.S: no less), as well as the fact that is sold rather well, gives me some hope. That is one franchise that cannot die, not ever.
I hope Nintendo capitalizes on the success that was FE:A, but I already ranted about Intelligent System being underuse some paragraphs above so ...
4. That is true, another PR problem, but also another hardware problem, the WiiU being not powerful enough for public consumption, also another gimmick (yes I said it) in the Gamepad, which is not innovative, but unnecessary. Remoteplay via 3DS would have sufficed.
5. Ups I already just addressed that ^^ /Agreed
6. Yes, but I'd say that is true for now and has no bearing on any future "innovation" they might come up with. In many ways the console industry has grown stale, and innovation is still essential - the problem is, that this can only be judged looking back, and if no one tries, nothing changes, so it is hard to really "blame" Nintendo, the consequences though, are very real and they are negative for them.
When I mentioned moderate success, I meant simply one thing: not a overall loss - economically or reputation/image-wise. 2015 will tell, esp. about the latter.
Nintendo will survive I agree, they still got the money, and the IPs, and untapped ways to monetize them - amiibo could just be the start, looking at Marvel I'd say the sky is the limit here. As for the WiiU being replaced, I don't see it lasting as long as the PS4 and X1. It started early and was underpowered to begin with, it is also a PR desaster that can never be fully undone. On the other hand, launching early again is also another bad option for Nintendo ... I have no good answer here, but it's probably going to happen ,they might not have a choice.
As of for Apple and Disney I was only half-serious there, but I have to disagree. I'm not sure they would gut Nintendo - Disney I mean. I mean did they gut Marvel? So far they didn't, at least not that I can tell. Quite to the contrary, look at Marvels' resurgence, basically we got a Marvel brand entertainment empire by now. And then they greenlit stuff like Guardians of the Galaxy? Even for us comic geeks that was "out there" - I mean I love the Marvel Cosmic Universe, "Operation: Galatic Storm" being one of my early and all-time favourites, but a movie about a tree and a talking racoon? Really? Wow, even walking out of the cinema after having seen Avengers I would have said, not gonna happen or ... it's gonna bomb. It did happen, and it turned out pretty darn good if I may say so.
Nintendo may be a different story, I don't know, but clearly Disney knows how to make the most of Marvel - in a good way - same for Pixar (sofar I think). In many ways Nintendo fits better with Disney than Marvel did, at least Nintendo was never censured by the Comics Code Authority ^^
I think Disney got the money, the PR machine, the experience and understanding of the marketplace as well as the infrastructure to actually take Nintendo to the next level.
I could be wrong of course .. ^^
Sony is an option for sure, but they are bloated already as company, short on cash to throw around and too concerned with being "one of the cool kids". At least for now, Nintendo would be probably be better of being 3rd-party - to Sony maybe then ^^
@Quorthon I totally forgot, if you like feel free to add me online ...
XL (X1): RalekUS
PSN (PSV/3/4): Ralek_US
NN (3DS/WiiU): Ralek85
I'm always happy to meet new discerning and talkative gamers ^^
I have a passion for gaming and I enjoy writing. It means I can hammer out a lot fairly easily and quickly.
I think the Zelda games can indeed be counted when they are major and full-priced retail releases. Note, I never count the Virtual Console in that, but when Ocarina of Time is getting a major release, for the price of a full retail game in 2011, then it counts as yet another release that Nintendo has spent time (or in my words, wasted time that could've been used for a brand new game) re-developing and pushing out for full retail price. They turn simple and unnecessary ports into major titles--look at the excitement around Majora's Mask 3D.
Now, the mistake you're making about the Achievements/Trophies thing is focusing on your personal taste or interest. If you ignore your personal preference, you'll see that such things are industry-wide norms now. And not just with MS and Sony, but also with Steam and many individual games, such as World of Warcraft. All third party developers work with these trophy systems, which can likely be programmed the same way. In order to port these games to Nintendo, they either have to completely rework the trophy system so it's specific for the Wii U, or remove it completely. It's a new norm, and Nintendo would be smart to recognize it. The PS3, Vita, and PS4 has such a robust profile system that friends are shared on all three, as are your earned trophies, and purchased games.
My point about the wider Mario games is that, from an outside perspective, it makes all Nintendo games look like derivatives of Mario. Put it this way, in the same way many Nintendo fans lazily stereotype all Xbox games as "gritty shooters" because they don't look beyond the surface, that's how Nintendo looks to general consumers. It's all Mario derivatives, and a lot of people can't tell the difference, which may be a psychological reason Nintendo keeps churning out so many Mario spin-off games. I understand there's more than that on Nintendo machines, just as I understand that there's more than just gritty shooters on the Xbox. The point there is public image for Nintendo.
I don't have too much else to add, but on your point about #6, I agree with you. The industry is growing very stale in a lot of ways, one of them being annualized franchises (Assassin's Creed is hurting now because of it, while Call of Duty found new footing because Activision has THREE rotating developers making ONLY Call of Duty games), which is why I also don't like seeing new Zeldas every year.
Years ago, I developed this hypothetical model of the video game hardware industry, and noted that every other generation, the odd-numbered ones (the NES was Generation 3) should be launched with major innovations and new technological advancements that create completely new experiences, while each succeeding even-numbered generation should have only small innovations, but operate mostly as a "perfection and cleansing" of the innovations created before. Nintendo led these with the NES, SNES, and N64, creating new innovations and concepts that were adopted by the industry as a whole. Starting with the NES in G3, move forward and the industry almost perfectly follows this model, which had me predict in 2006, that the Wii might be a successful console because it was bringing major innovations. What Nintendo should have done was capitalize on those innovations this time, and expand them with hardware powered closer to the XBO and PS4, but priced lower with a console merely called Wii 2. The 5th generation, you'll recall, made disk-based games the norm, made 3D games the norm, and also introduced and normalized analog sticks and four-player per console gameplay options built-in (previously an attempted and failed concept by Atari).
I agree that Nintendo launching too early with the next hardware could be a disaster, which is why they're in such a bad place right now. Going by this generation, I think the XBO and PS4 will likely last 7-8 years, but the Wii U only has about 3 left in it, and without third party support, maybe only two. It's going to be a gamble, and they made an awful lot of mistakes this time. Whenever they do release the next console, it needs to be vastly more powerful than what is currently available, and it needs some kind of positive third party heft to drive it forward. If they launch halfway through the life of the PS4 and XBO (which would be late 2016 or 2017), and they're successful with impressive new hardware, they could end up forcing an arms race for Sony and Microsoft to return within two years with new machines. One thing I'm very confident about is that if all they do is release halfway with equal-powered hardware, it'll just be the Wii U all over again.
The reason I think Disney would gut them is because that's what they did to Lucasarts. Disney knows movie and television entertainment. They do not understand gaming any better than Apple. Per the Nintendo and Sony thing--imagine if Nintendo made the portable and Sony made the console and they put each other's games on both machines. Despite the problems both companies are having, I think it would be an incredible win. Personally, I think Disney is in danger of a near catastrophic collapse of superhero movies in the next couple years. They had that big reveal recently and I just shook my head. I don't think I wanted to see any of them except maybe the Avengers movies.
I don't think the Wii U will be an overall loss--like, Nintendo isn't going to end the generation with negative money, but I don't think it's going to be something they want to do moving forward, and it will be considered a failure by Nintendo, at least privately. How can they not, considering the sales of the Wii? I think it killed the "Wii" name, and Nintendo, unfortunately, will need to start over again with another brand, against two increasingly recognizable brands: Playstation and Xbox.
Finally, you may find this humorous, or just weird, but on a personal level, I am almost never a fan of the "big draws" of any console maker. After finishing God of War II, despite my love of hack-n-slash gameplay, I ultimately realized I kind of hate the franchise for it's quick-time event BS and "perfect timing required" puzzles. I no longer care for Halo (and own all of them on the X360), and find the franchise to be largely boring, despite the fascinating literary universe they created. And for Nintendo, I have been a fan since I bought my own NES as a kid (still have it hooked up), but have never liked Pokemon, have lost interest in Zelda, and am rarely interested in a new Mario game. I loved Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One (played with my son), Alan Wake and Crackdown, and Sin & Punishment, Xenoblade Chronicles, and Eternal Darkness. I'm against remakes out of principle, but I love Eternal Darkness so much, I'd even take an HD remake just to have it return in some form.
You either change with the times, or become an irrelevant joke.
(See Michael McDonald->)
It may be true that Nintendo fans are too xenophobic towards anything not made by Nintendo. I was certainly hoping that Bayonetta 2, at least, would sell better. However, it's also been true that 3rd parties haven't had the best history of bringing great games to the Wii U (with the exception of Bayonetta 2 that is.) Personally, I own a lot more 3rd party games on the 3DS than the Wii U, because 3rd parties have been more willing to bring great games to the 3DS. Many 3rd parties have ported over games that were already proven to be overhyped to the Wii U, like Watch Dogs, so they were made to fail. Despite all the hype, a review I saw on YouTube suggested that it was only worth a $20 purchase, and that was the supposedly superior Playstation version. So in general, it wasn't entirely the fault of Wii U owners that 3rd party games flopped on the system, and it's something to consider if 3rd parties, at least to some extent, have sabotaged their position on the Wii U. However Bayonetta 2 should have done a lot better. So far, it seems like the best 3rd party game ever made on the system. Bayonetta 2 also gives you the first game for free, so how is that not an awesome deal?
I'm not sure how well 3rd parties are selling on the 3DS, but I assume that they must be doing better on there, or they would have given up on developing for it, and went full mobile, or tried on the Vita. Square Enix seems like the only 3rd party company that doesn't have much confidence in the 3DS. Which is weird, considering that Bravely Default supposedly sold like crazy. Atlus, in particular, has released a ton of 3DS games, so it appears that they have faith in making a profit on the 3DS. I don't have sales figures, so I don't actually know if Atlus games on 3DS are a success or a flop, but when you consider that they haven't given up on it, makes me surmise that they are doing decently enough. If Atlus was doing poorly on 3DS, I can't explain why they brought Persona Q to the 3DS. Despite the article suggesting that mobile will replace handhelds, a lot of 3rd parties still seem to prefer making games for 3DS than phones. So it's possible thay 3rd parties may be doing better with Nintendo than you think. But only on 3DS, because they are making a bigger effort on it.
Actually, considering that Square Enix prefers making games for mobile than the 3DS, they might actually be annoyed at how well Bravely Default sold for the 3DS. I have the feeling that they were actually hoping that Bravely Default would flop, so it would give them an excuse to abandon the 3DS completely. It's a known fact that Square has some kind of undisclosed grudge against Nintendo, and at this point they may be trying to find an excuse to never make games for Nintendo again, now that the mobile market is open. If even one of their 3DS games were to flop, they would say that 3DS owners never support their games, so it's not cost effective to develop for that market.
@Quorthon I appreciate your passion and I share it.
I just re-read my last post, and it realize it's a bit haphazardly written at times, and some of my arguments don't come across all that well - lost in my (passionate) ranting. ^^
In terms of trophies/achievments, as I said, I don't care for them, and I don't think they are necessary (I don't even think they are beneficial but that is another story).
Why? First of all, your point about them being an industry-wide norms is well taken, but we are talking about gaming here, and the gaming industry is not a traditional industry. Industry-wide norms are beneficial, even necessary, for many industries, where they among other aspects drive down cost substantially as well as limit risk and create redundancy - not for gaming though.
Trophies/achievments can easily be "cut-out", since its all digital. It happpend to Wii ports, to 3DS ports, as well as previous WiiU ports and of course (until 2008) for all PS3/360 multiplatform games. It's not a matter of cost or risk/redundancy, maybe convenience. Also, while standardisation may furhter innovation in some areas, by e.g. providing cheap, quality parts to recombine and experiment with, gaming is a different beast. I think Ubisoft is a great example of this, by now I have no doubt whatsoever, that a lot of Ubisoft designers are forced to work of checklists, for "features" to include in their games, no matter if that game is called Watch Dogs, Assassins Creed, Far Cry or even to a degree the Crew - similarties are just too striking, in basic design choices like open-word, down to some details of cluttered minimaps, and endless collectibles.
People might assume that this is completely independent of the framework one is working in, like having to have trophies, because the platform supports it and it's a "industry-wide norm". I think that is naive, and there is some strong evidence in sociology/psychology to suggest that these kind of frameworks matter in fact a lot, they engender a certain type of thinking, and they help perpetuate it.
Now one could argue, that he likes trophies and it'S good everyone is building their games around it ... the problem is this kind of standardisation, is not cost free. It stifles innovation and creativity by providing answer beforehand as well as setting a kind of scene on which everyone has to work.
It takes extra effort to do your works by-the-numbers (Trophies? We gotta do Trophies guys...) and still infuse them with meaning, with actual design or woth. It's way easier to just add what you have to "Collect 50 XY" to get a bronze, and since you are at it, you probably best place those 50 XY, and you gotta make sure the level design is there to accommodate them ... once you've followed through on that half a dozen times, you are set in your way.
Not good in my book - not for the actual product at least, maybe for the marketing, that may very well be true.
Also, generally speaking trophies appeal to one of our lowest common denominators, gratification (as instant and constant as possible) in an patronizing fashion: Hey, you managed to walk up the stairs and read the tutorial messages ... DINGDINGDING ... that is just anothe reason they should be disliked by reasonable and intelligent people (exceptions, like I said last time, not withstanding, but as Mass Effect proved you can do "trophies" without any framework supporting them ...)
Again, people are petty, and therefore trophies appeal to them, so yes, maybe Nintendo should cave, and follow suit. I understand why they don't, and at least on that I can appreciate their pov.
As for Mario, I think I got that, but I raised a questions in that regard. Do they loose more customers than they gain with falling back on their iconic? I honestly do not know. How many people would stop buying Nintendo games, if they were no longer Mario games, and how many would come in to buy Nintendo games, just because they are no longer Mario games?
I think for a broader appeal - that is what you are aiming at, if I understand you correctly - more than just the mascots would have to change. They might have to go, at least to some degree, "gritty" - meaning maybe violence, toning down the color or cuteness of design, whatever. Now, like I said Splatoon will tell us something about this next year.
I get your point about Nintendo's overall public image being Mario (read "kiddie" right? Let's not beat around the bush here) hurts them in mass appeal, and you might be right, but like I said above, I'm not clear on the cost-benefit here. Again this seems like a fine line for Nintendo to walk, they can't abandon Mario and rebrand, and they probably can't be the same company they were last gen, where all this worked pretty well.
As for Zelda, I think, a remake takes substantially less ressources and the timing is right, there are probably millions of people owning a 3DS now, taht never owned a N64. Nintendo can offer them a excellent game at a fraction of the cost of developing a new one, ALL THE WHILE cashing in on double-dippers and nostalgia (which is a very powerful emotion by the way^^). I'm not sure how this is detrimental, Zelda seems to be getting all the attention it needs (assuming really on track for 2015) and again it's not like remaking MM takes as much time or money as a completely new game anyways. This is not a general approval of remakes, zelda or otherwise, just a case-by-case judgement call.
I never thought about it that methodical but it makes a lot of sense in theory, you come up with an innovation or even several small ones, then you give yourself time to perfect them for another iteration, as well as give the industry at large, meaning developers, time to adapt to it and innovate software along the lines of the innovated hardware. I definitely agree that Nintendo should have taken a more conservative approach when it comes to radical innovation, and are more aggressive approach when it comes to modernize their hardware.
The problem of launch cycles is definitely a severe one, personally I think they should stick it out. The points you make are all valid and I agree with them, but honestly, this a no win sitation and the least troubling to me is waiting for a new major cycle and then come in guns blazing. Abandoning the WiiU within, let's say the next 24 months would alienate a lot of users - me including I'd say. It would create a substantial psychological barrier (aside from the financial one which would also have to be substantial to be "part of the game" once more), esp. to people smart enough to recognize, that the point can only be resync with the cycle all over again in 2020 or so. It would also mean another very risky and substantial investment for Nintendo ... frankly, I doubt they could do it, they would have to well on their way by now, and I doubt they are, though this is pure guesswork of course. It's just they seem ... busy ^^
As for Disney, it is my belief that LucasArts went way of the reservation long before Diseny came in, in 2012. They were churning out c**p like Force Unleashed, Angry Birds Star Wars, Kinect Star wars and so on. The whole indecisiveness of it all - think about Star Wars 1313. I can't think of anyhthing major or worthwhile since .... Empire at War waaayy back in the day, can that be? Dunno, nothing else comes to mind.
Fast forward to 2014, at least we are about to get another Star Wars Battlefront and I'm not gonna say no to Grim Fandango either. I'm not saying Disney turned them around, no sir, but I can say how it got worse, and Disney is only at it for 2 years so maybe we should wait for Force Awakens and the stuff that follows suit in terms of cross-media and games. I reserve judgment. Marvel provides a longer perspective, 5 years, and they have done right by them (sofar). Personally I'm looking forward to Avengers 2 and definitely some of the others stuff, esp. after GoG did so great against all odds and expectations, and of course definitely GoG2 - I have to praise them for casting Andy right out of Parks & Rec as a witty action hero ... Gotta respect that.
My personal taste aside, those movies are commercial gold mines right now - they might collapse, I can't say, but I doubt it as of right now, and even if so, they already made billions in revenue and by then profit as well I wager No good thing last forever, sofar they are having an incredible run.
I guess my bias against Sony is, that they are devs and engineers themselves, it screams duplicate structures to me - something Sony is very prone too - and this means in turn "streamlining" and well ... that wouldn't bode well for Nintendo. As for the handheld thing, I don't know man, Sony got burned pretty badly, handheld and mobil phones I think, and beyond that the market is just shrinking anyways ... I just don't see Sony going on any kind of adventure of that magnitude anytime soon. That's not even talking about the general state of the japanese industry and the state of public consumption in Japan.
As for the Wii brand I agree, it will not lose them money overall, at least shortterm (reputation cost is hard to gauge), and they might lose the Wii brand, but I think that's really no biggie, probably even for the best. It was always the Nintendo brand (it's not the Wii3DS is it?^^) that mattered anyways. It's actually only the second time I think they stuck with a name - or a variation there of. N64 and GC were also one-timers so to speak after all.
In terms of personal taste, and change thereof, I can totally appreciate your position, also it may be somewhat reversed. E.g. I never could be bothered with Halo, aside from some play session at a friends .. I find myself quite amendable to the Halo:MCE in co-op these days. Also, like I said I passed on Mario for decades (I think the last one I played before 3D land was on Gameboy ..), but I do like 3D Land and World, also it's not like I'm crazy for them. I enjoy them on occasion that's all, I still hate platformers in general ^^ Pokemon is a good example though in the other direction, I loved Pokemon Red/Blue ... never played one again, tried X/Y (got caught up in the 3D hype and ... nostalgia) ... bored the s**t out of me.
On the rest we can pretty much agree Kudos for mentioning ALAN WAKE btw, that game is so underrated and underappreciated. I never played a game with such a hands down fantastic atmosphere, not before not since. I loved Max Payne 1/2, but alan wake is just as much a reason why I'm excited for Quantum Break, and why I got a Xbone as those - maybe even more so.
The scene where you make your way to the radio station in the distance, the police fighting for the life all the while down in the valley, running past all that huts with the radios, letting you listening in on the callers commenting on the sitatuon ... it was just perfect. The sound, the lighting, the shadows ... the forst felt alive. Even the writing was good, and the story decent. A masterpiece (not flawless for sure but still ...)!
Last but not least, I would buy Eternal Darkness HD as well, pretty much for the same reasons in many ways, why I loved Alan Wake.
If you liked those you might enjoy the Evil Within, there is one scene early on (the one in the forest) that basically felt like an hommage to Alan Wake (at least to me). They are different games, but TEW also has a very rich atmosphere (at least in most level, the chuch e.g. not so much) which was the best part of Alan Wake. Man Quantum Break can't come soon enough, I hope it delivers ... and I hope Alan Wake 2 is in books eventually.
PS: You noticed I left my Network IDs? Just in case you missed it.
@Quorthon dude no offense but if you were in charge of Nintendo those ideas wpuld be terrible. First off no saying its bad to have an achievement system but what the heck for? You just get an achievement and that's that. And I am not sure if its because of laziness or something but, can't you guys just buy a freaken drive and your set. Also with all those things your are storing in the PS4 and Xbox you are gonna run out of space quickly and that's if you buy lots of digital games. I agree on a price cut but I don't think Nintendo should do the same like what MS is doing. MS is cutting the price just to catch up to the "sales" of the PS4 and are taking hits from that and receiving punches from angry investors. And I want to explain something else no matter what Nintendo does even make a console 10 times more powerful than sony and MS that is not going to change things especially with third parties. Third parties just don't want to work with Nintendo and have made it clear on that indication several times now. I love Nintendo too but let's not forget why the Wii U is where it's at because of Nintendo's poor marketing and not having lots of good games at launch that ended up being delayed. Geez it's mind boggling when there is a problem people jump into conclusions and forget what the actual problems are.
Cellphone games are horrible, and I don't think Nintendo should make a phone. I can't deny the appeal of smartphones for other things, like watching movies/tv shows, music, social media etc. But a dedicated handheld is necessary for gaming, and people who won't invest in one, aren't getting the best portable experience. If they never tried a proper handheld, they may not even realize it.
Let's take a look at the business model that many phone games use. A lot of mobile gamers want games that are free to install, so developers have to make games like that, but use microtransactions to exploit you for all you've got. Let me tell you of one mobile game I tried a long time ago, called Quests and Sorcery. The game is free to install, but moving around uses up energy. You have a maximum of 20 moves, then you have to either wait to play some more, or buy potions with real money to restore it. But that was the least of it. When you encounter a monster, it might drop a locked chest. In order to open it, you have to purchase a key with real money. If you try to pick the lock, you might fail and your character will throw the chest away.
Even if you don't use any money to restore your energy, you quickly run out of areas to explore, and the game was incomplete. There's an area that's blocked off, and it seems obvious the next place to go, but there's no way through. I emailed the developers, and they told me I had to wait for an expansion of the game to continue. But instead of expanding the game, what did they do instead? Make weekly events, with boss monsters that drop locked chests, so that you really have to buy their keys! The chests these bosses drop are more unique than the ones regular monsters drop, since they're only available for a limited time while the event is on. So that really puts the pressure on to buy their keys. Now, it is possible to get all the chests during these events without spending money at all, if you get lucky picking the locks. But it's a race against time, and it becomes stressful instead of fun. But it gets even worse. With all these weekly events giving you unique equipment, you're quickly going to run out of room in your inventory. You're either going to have to throw the older stuff away, or buy expansions for your bag, using real money of course. Now the older FF games had limited inventory, forcing you to sell your obsolete equipment. However, you weren't spending real money for keys just to open the chests, so it was fine. Since you have to spend real money for keys in this game, there's a value associated with all the equipment you get, so getting rid of unique equipment is rather distasteful. But so is spending real money to expand your bag.
With 3DS or Vita games, you pay upfront, and you never have to pay again. There may be optional DLC, but it's up to the consumer if it's worth it or not. You're not forced to pay for DLC that you feel isn't worth it.
Also, it's the norm these days to make phones that are entirely touch controls, so how is Nintendo going to convince mobile consumers that having buttons and a physical control pad is a good design for a cellphone? Pullout keyboards became obsolete years ago.
Another reason it would be bad for Nintendo to make a phone, is that they'll lose third party exclusives. Despite all this gloom that the future of handheld gaming is doomed, many 3rd parties are supporting the 3DS like crazy, with exclusive games. But if Nintendo made a phone, 3rd parties wouldn't make games exclusively to Nintendo's phone eshop, they would be on Google Play, and on the App store as well. They would all be mobile multi plats, and not exclusives. I don't think 3rd parties would make even 1 exclusive for Nintendo's phone.
To be honest, I think the poll question is wrong. The question isn't "would you buy a Nintendo phone?" because its structured to agree with the article regardless of the answer you choose. The real question is "Should Nintendo make a phone?". That question is more likely to stimulate a debate and paint a more accurate picture of what Nintendo's customers would want.
in regards to the article itself, Nintendo making a mobile phone is utterly pointless. Mobile phones have become less about phoning and more about apps and games over the years. what are the two main uses for a mobile phone now? I would say number one is a portable connection to the Internet, and second may be gaming. If that's the case, why should Nintendo stray from the platforms they're already working with? the 3DS is still going strong with its entirely gaming based focus, why offer a direction that may hinder overall sales. Plus, if Nintendo ventured into an alternative market, they would stand little chance of success against the market's already formidable competition.
yes Nintendo games would be great on any platform, but I don't even know why we're even suggesting a Nintendo Phone when we've got a 3DS. I'm all for lively debate but this is just a misguided viewpoint I feel.
one thing Nintendo could work on in regards to mobile devices, are companion apps to work alongside the games they already make. an app for keeping track of Amiibo growth; an animal crossing app that works like a calendar telling you what days things will be happening whilst also letting you make your own notes about your town; a pokemon app that is literally a pokedex that tells you about upcoming moves, evolution methods and perhaps even rare pokemon locations. those are just a few that spring to mind but there's a lot of room for ideas. if Nintendo were to infiltrate the mobile platform in any way, this to me is the best and only way they should explore.
Guys! No. Just no. This is such a bad idea.
NO NO NO NO NO
if you honestly think about it a phone running a Mobile OS that fits perfectly into the Wii U and the 3DS family would be awesome. it would be awesome to have new nintendo IP's and the vast virtual Console available on your phone with out emulators. they could implement Miiverse as their Messaging app. eshop as the "marketplace or App Store." they could even build a controller attachment with a DS/3DS card slot. I would ditch my "Smartphone" in an instant if this happens.
On a related note; I posted this on IGN the other day but here's one of my ideas for what I think Nintendo's NX could be:
Note: Be patient and read all the details—I promise there's some good stuff here—and let me know what you think.
It's complicated and I'd have to write up a 20 page doc with images to cover everything, so I'll just give some broad strokes. It may be a bit messy
First: Think of the NX as basically being the Wii U console stuffed directly into the current Wii U GamePad (either pretty much exactly the same power as a Wii U or a little bit more powerful if necessary). The main differences would be making the screen at least 1080p; 3D without glasses; adding multi-touch to the screen, which would work with either the stylus or multiple fingers; and possibly adding analog to the triggers (not the shoulder buttons; just the triggers). Everything else would pretty much stay the same. It still supports amiibos too. Oh; there'd also be a tiny dongle you can plug into your TV so you can play the games directly on the big screen too. That's basically the NX.
All the cool stuff is in the details however...
Right out the gate, you could basically emulate/play digital versions of old NES, SNES, N64, GC, GB, GBC and GBA games pretty much straight-up directly on the system, which you'd download and/or stream from the new connected service Nintendo is developing.
To run Wii games you'd download them like all the other games and for any of them that use full motion/pointer controls you would use a proper Wiimote by pointing it at the sensor bar and/or camera that's built into the NX (this is already built into the current GamePad and would be on NX too), and you could either stream the game to the TV or view it directly on the GamePad (a bit small and awkward but still possible). So for some Wii games you would need to own/buy actual Wiimotes but that's not really surprising. At least you don't have to own/plug-in a separate sensor bar.
For DS/3DS the 1080p screen would be used to recreate/mimic the two-screen DS/3DS setup directly on the NX screen and because of the size and resolution it would pretty much be just like looking at a normal size DS/3DS (regular; not XL/LL). The fact the NX screen would be both 3D without glasses and touch capable means it could mimic all aspect of the DS/3DS on that single screen. A lot of this would also be done in firmware/software, so it all displays correctly. If you want you could also stream the top screen to the TV, or use any other screen variation/setup that's currently available for running DS games on Wii U now. The 3D no-glasses could even be used to emulate the Virtual Boy system too
See how the 2DS screen in this image could basically fit into the current GamePad (both screens at once):
(With a screen that has a 1080p resolution, along with glasses free 3D, you could basically emulate a DS/3DS directly on the GamePad-esque NX no problem, but there would also be many other display configurations available to choose from too, as is already the case with current DS games running on the Wii U GamePad)
To run Wii U games it would simply do what the current Wii U and GamePad do; with the main game content being displayed on the TV, streamed via the dongle, and all the map and touch screen stuff or whatever on the NX screen. Obviously any games that have off-TV play could similarly be played just directly on the NX, like they are now when played directly on the Wii U GamePad.
The new NX would also be compatible directly with the current Wii U and could be used as a secondary GamePad (or third and forth too), which will be a feature that will be activated on Wii U via a firmware update that adds in all the new Nintendo network stuff, this whole "connected" system, and a few other things. Because the NX is obviously able to connect to other NX systems for multi-player games (say up to four at a time), you would also similarly be able to use up to three of them with the Wii U now too; allowing you to play four player games on Wii U, where one person uses the Wii U GamePad and three other people use NX systems, so each person could have a custom screen but at the same time the TV could display another view of the action. Think of a Madden type game where each player can call plays on their controller in secret by drawing on the screen, with the main action on the TV. Or something like 4 player local multi-player Splatoon, with each person playing on either the GamePad or an NX controller and the TV showing an overview of the map. Because the NX systems are basically self contained Wii U consoles, it wouldn't take much processing power for the main Wii U to handle a four player game like this (unlike now where it would basically be impossible to have 4 GamePads on Wii U), since each system is basically a Wii U in and of itself and would be doing its equal share of the leg work. The whole Wii U/NX/TV setup where you have three NX systems plus the Wii U is obviously a very rare scenario as most gamers would just use four NX systems for multi-player but for anyone that already owns a Wii U it means they can use it in place of another NX system, which is a nice bonus, and it means they now have the ability to play new multi-player games on Wii U where each person actually has a proper private screen (poker and Scrabble would be fun, with the cards or letters shown on the individual player's screens and the main deck or board shown on the TV).
Nintendo would now of course be able to make plenty of games that take advantage of more than just asymmetric local multi-player by default—these would just be regular multi-player portable games for NX, that allow you to link to other people online or near you with NX systems, but at the same time because the NX is in fact just a Wii U built into a GamePad, you could play those very same games as multi-player games on current Wii U, using the Wii U and the GamePad as one controller, with a private screen, and up to 3 NX systems as the other controllers with private screens.
NOW...as a little aside here, and something that I think would basically tip this over the edge and turn it from amazing into literally a literal revolution in the industry; I would build into every single NX system directly, in-the-box day one, a complete Creation Suite—which would be something like the old Mario Artist series for N64. This would allow people to use the NX controller and stylus/touchscreen directly to draw/paint art, including sprite/pixel are and textures for polygons; create music (a bit like Mario Paint's music mode); create animations; create/edit movies (using the camera etc); make polygon models; and even make full, albeit relatively simple, video games (anything from NES level up to N64 probably, and maybe even a bit beyond)—all for FREE and installed in every single new NX system out-the-box. All these creations could be shared among all NX users and even Wii U owners via Nintendo's new single connected service, and possibly 3DS owners in some cases—where those people could then play and enjoy them or modify them even further—as well as just shared to the general Internet and on sites like YouTube (if it's a video or animation you made). Just imagine all that content, some of it potentially brilliant, being made by users and available to other NX users from the get-go. This suite would also be added to the Wii U and 3DS too, via that firmware update I mentioned earlier; so it really is one complete unified and connected system/service that works across all Nintendo's main consoles:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmW9Ipc2FhA (An example of one of the packages in the old Mario Artist series for N64—in this case Polygon Maker—for reference).
Now, imo, THAT's how you sell people on the idea of—a "controller with a touchscreen"—or in this case the NX.
So, "basically"; you have a single self-contained portable console, at least as powerful as a Wii U, that can play games from every single console Nintendo has ever made with very little hassle. For some of the more convoluted stuff, like Wii motion-centric games, you can basically use your old Wii controllers directly on it. It even works as an extra controller for anyone that has a Wii U too (up to three can be used, plus the GamePad as the forth). The connected internet service will work on NX but also be added to both Wii U and 3DS too (via a firmware update), so that all three systems now share many software/firmware and online features—this whole unified/connected system Nintendo has been going on about—such as using a single account for everything and for cross-play on many of the titles. Then the cherry on top is the entire creation suite built into the console from day one, out-the-box, and available for every single Wii U, NX and 3DS owner to use for free.
This system would be sold quite simply as Nintendo's brand new next-gen portable console, code named NX—although I'd call it something way cooler and funnier like the P-NES; Portable Nintendo Entertainment System. This is a great throwback to Nintendo's best name for a console ever (Nintendo Entertainment System or NES)—that describes what the console actually is better than any other console name its ever went with since—and it's also a funny play on the fact the original Wii name sounded like a penis/peeing. It's also just an accurate acronym of what the system is: A Portable Nintendo Entertainment System (not actually a portable version of the original NES however).
Going forwards—ignoring the kinda jokey PNES name for a second—I would actually call any new Nintendo console systems NES 2, NES 3, NES 4 and so on. Probably written as NES2, NES3 etc.. In fact, I'd probably actually just call this system the NES2 (regardless of the fact it's a portable). It's basically like the rebirth of what the NES started all those years ago (a gaming revolution), and combines the best of every single Nintendo home console AND handheld since, into one super—yet amazingly simple/elegant and easy to understand on the surface—portable (where Nintendo dominates anyway). NES2 would just ring SO true for me
PS. This is a system and solution where I don't think it would matter one sh*t how powerful Sony and Microsoft's next consoles are. They simply couldn't touch this concept imo, if they're just more of the same but with more power. If this system—the proper next-gen Nintendo PORTABLE basically (an area where it has utterly dominated for 26 years) but so much more too—wasn't lapped up by third parties out the gate then I doubt anything Nintendo could do would be a notable success at that point.
@IxC That was the Wii U's job ya know since it was just like the Virtual Boy
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