Nintendo's in a pretty good place right now. The Switch is selling well and is providing a solid platform for the company's games, and the firm has other projects – such as movies and theme parks – which are helping to broaden its stream of revenue. However, the Japanese giant is still not doing enough to leverage its enviable library of games, according to Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter.
Speaking to CNBC, Pachter – who has been pretty outspoken about Nintendo in the past – says that if the Kyoto veteran adopted an Apple Arcade-style subscription service, it could rake in millions of dollars from its fans:
One thing they have that nobody else has is a gigantic library, more than a thousand handheld games, and if they were to emulate Apple Arcade and put a thousand games on it, they would have 100 million subscribers paying them $5 a month. It's not reflecting in their share price because they haven't monetized it yet, but if you're looking at Nintendo going forward, I think that's the answer.
It's not entirely clear from the interview if Pachter is talking about a smartphone service or one for the Nintendo Switch; as we know, Nintendo already offers a selection of retro games to those who sign up for its Nintendo Switch Online subscription. We assume, therefore, that Pachter is talking about the company bringing its older games to mobile phones (especially given the section of the report in which his comments appear, which is focused solely on the smartphone arena).
While Nintendo has dabbled in smartphone games with littles like Super Mario Run, Fire Emblem Heroes and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, but opening up its back catalogue of games on iOS and Android could open the flood gates as far as revenue is concerned; Pachter definitely has a point when he says that millions of people would sign up in a heartbeat.
But how would these classic games play on a device which lacks a physical interface? Where would it leave Nintendo Switch Online, and the retro offerings present on that service? Could such a service really coexist outside of the console market, and not impact Nintendo's core business too much?
Let us know if you think Pachter is onto something with this idea by posting a comment below.