It’s no secret that the ‘big 3’ of video game companies (Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft) have lost some market share to smartphones. With portable devices that function as both phones and low-end games consoles, offering users thousands of high quality games for cheap prices (and there are plenty of free to play apps), all whilst being highly upgradeable thanks to operating systems updates, it’s no wonder that bigger consoles have lost out on some sales. The real winners here, are those who make the games, allowing them to bring their titles to more platforms to increase sales and brand awareness. As both a video game developer, publisher and console manufacturer, Nintendo are finally realising which direction they need to take their business in.
Nikkei suggested it, Nintendo denied it and now Nintendo have done a complete 180, announcing that they will in fact be bringing some sort of content to smartphones to address the point that’s discussed above. Nintendo’s President, Satoru Iwata, explained the smartphone development at a business meeting in Tokyo earlier this week, saying that they could use phones to show off “the value of ‘'[Nintendo’s] entertainment offerings, thus encouraging people to participate in Nintendo platforms.”
It effectively sounds like it’s going to be used as a marketing vehicle, as was first suggested but as was also explained at the conference, Iwata also said that “[He had not given any restrictions to the development team, even not ruling out the possibility of making games or using [Nintendo] game characters. However, if [the media reports] that [Nintendo] will release Mario on smart devices, it would be a completely misleading statement.” So there you have it, we may not see Mario and co. on our smartphones, but it’s still a possibility. As for the fruits of this new direction? Iwata says that “It is [Nintendo’s] intention to release some application on smart devices this year.”
We’ll keep you posted once we know more.