We all knew this would eventually happen, yet that foreknowledge makes typing the following statement no less weird: Nintendo is getting into smartphone gaming.
Early this morning, Nintendo announced that it is joining forces with DeNA, the Japanese mobile gaming giant, to bring Nintendo gaming franchises to smart devices. The partnership, which is described as a "business and capital alliance", will feature Nintendo and DeNA working in joint development on games featuring Nintendo's roster of franchises. What this means is that Nintendo has no intention of porting existing Wii U or 3DS games to phones/tablets, but will be developing new games specifically built for those platforms.
From a statement released by the two companies:
"In order to create completely new game experiences for smart devices, all Nintendo IP will be eligible for development and exploration by the alliance. As these consumers enjoy the unique kind of gameplay found only with Nintendo, they will have the opportunity to explore even more premium experiences on Nintendo's dedicated video game platforms."
In addition to the development deal, Nintendo and DeNA plan to launch a "multi-device membership service" that will allow players to play games across mobile, Windows PC, and Nintendo's own consoles. The service is slated to launch in fall 2015.
During this morning's press conference, chief executive Satoru Iwata also confirmed that Nintendo remains dedicated to developing and supporting its own console hardware platforms, and is currently working on a new platform, codenamed "NX." He added that it is "too early to elaborate on the details of this project," but expects that the company will discuss it in greater detail next year.