Nintendo / DeNA

We can expect quite a lot of focus on Nintendo and DeNA in the coming months, as the big N will be making its long awaited - especially by shareholders - entry in the world of smart device gaming. DeNA's experience in the market and background in 'services' will combine with Nintendo's game design mastery to, in theory, have a major impact on iOS and Android, all while encouraging gamers to pick up Nintendo hardware.

DeNA West CEO Shintaro Asako spoke recently at Pocket Gamer Connects San Francisco 2015, once again talking up the importance of Nintendo IPs and the significance of the deal. With a game coming this year he highlighted how it'll reflect Nintendo's "free-to-start" approach, which is a philosophical - perhaps consumer-friendly - structure that'll perhaps be less cynical in its monetisation than some free-to-play options; the practical differences from current models may be minor, though. That said, Asako believes that "our games might change the way people play mobile games", which is a bold statement.

Beyond that, part of the motivation for the big N to enter this market - after years of persuasion from DeNA - is to reach more potential gamers and fans. As Asako highlighted, Nintendo's brand power and the move to iOS and Android could be a strong combination.

Nintendo wanted to attract a lot of people who they don't reach today, including China and emerging countries.

...Successful mobile games needs to be discoverable.

I'm convinced there will be hundreds of millions of people who will want to play free-to-start Nintendo games.

With the announcement of the first Nintendo / DeNA game currently being planned, we're curious to see whether talk of changing the face of mobile gaming is hyperbole or, in fact, a genuine indicator of a unique approach.

Time will tell.