Nintendo Is Getting Into the Mobile Gaming Market

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alex

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Edited By alex  Staff
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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.

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Rafaelfc

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It's the beginning of the end

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ChrisLoserkiD

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I wonder if this hurts the brand. I bet not..

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zorak

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#3  Edited By zorak

It's not like Nintendo hasn't said they're willing to do this before; they're going to target this as a means to attract people to their own proprietary platforms while generating a relatively easy profit in the process.

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Morning_BR

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Wii U replacement in 2017 then?

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THE_RUCKUS

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Money men / investors won that fight, Oh well at-least Nintendo get to still exist and make new games.

Better then Nintendo going broke in next couple of years and having to sell all there assets to company's that will sit on them for next 10 years.

Yeah its crappy thing but it will keep them in business.

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Jazz_Lafayette

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Nintendo IP (legally) on PC? It's a strange and beautiful time to be alive.

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conmulligan

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@morning_br said:

Wii U replacement in 2017 then?

A late 2017 launch makes a ton of sense. It's just far enough from the Wii U's release to not seem like they're completely abandoning it, and by then it'll have had its Zelda swan song.

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Y2Ken

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#8  Edited By Y2Ken

I'll be interested to see how this works out for them, and whether it ends up acting as a gateway to getting a wider audience interested in buying into a Nintendo system or if the games end up being completely standalone and unrelated.

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mattgriffin

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NIntendo on PC. So cool. Nintendo will be just fine.

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therealtakeshi

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Oh please let it be Pokemon on my phone!!!

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isomeri

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Being one of those assholes who wishes Nintendo would stop making hardware and release their games everywhere, this news sounds like a great step in the right direction.

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hollitz

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Someone tell me if I should feel anything about this cause I can't seem to muster up a reaction.

Cool? I guess?

Just keep making good games.

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Bicycle_Repairman

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So a small chance that Nintendo games get on the PC? That would be interesting!

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RobertOrri

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MEGATON! Someone had to do it.

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civid

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Money men / investors won that fight, Oh well at-least Nintendo get to still exist and make new games.

Better then Nintendo going broke in next couple of years and having to sell all there assets to company's that will sit on them for next 10 years.

Yeah its crappy thing but it will keep them in business.

How is this a crappy thing? I mean these games will probably not be that good (if that god awful mobilstyle Pokemen Shuffle game is anything to go by), but it will give Nintendo some extra financing power to back their projects and it very much sounds like a partnership, not something Nintendo will be focusing on. Maybe long term they will, but if they're in the midst of making another console it's doubtful this is anything to worry about.

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DrDarkStryfe

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About time. If your entire business is based around gaming, then you need to go to where people are playing the games. Mobile is flat out dominating right now, and Nintendo can do well in that space.

I imagine that this is where a lot of their quirky stuff might end up. Stuff like the WarioWare's and the NES Remix's of the world that are already mobile-like titles.

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Firepaw

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Hmm, I'm more interested in what NX is, but I guess I'll keep an eye on what mobile games Nintendo makes.

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Bollard

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I feel like that line about DeNA doing PC stuff doesn't include Nintendo franchises, and is more aimed at what ever DeNA already do.

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onarum

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they'll all be phone games though, nothing like you would find on a real gaming platform still...

it'll just be mushroom kingdom rush and angry zelda...

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striderno9

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Yup, agreed, I want to know how Nintendo responds to the reception the Wii U got with the NX.

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Gaff

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I might be a sour puss, but announcing this without showing or teasing any games just seems a bit hollow? Especially if stuff is supposed to come later this year. Though, at worst, how much development time would it take to make an endless runner featuring Mario?

It also doesn't help that it seems to be bolstering investor confidence in Nintendo, just in time for the next fiscal year...

Courtesy of Tak Fujii's Twitter
Courtesy of Tak Fujii's Twitter

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InstantRyan

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#22  Edited By InstantRyan

That membership service seems interesting at first but it's probably just going to be the mobile games being created then ported over to PC and the current Nintendo console.

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j_unit2008

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This is weird stuff to be seeing. It seems strange that the lifespan of the Wii U is going to be so short even though I get why they have to do it. As for the mobile jump as long as they make quality games I'm all for it.

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Afroofdoom

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Always bet on Nintendo. They have been doing this shit for so long, and have outlived so many of their competitors, they're not going to bow out any time soon.The mobile and PC arena is too large a slice of the gaming pie for a company to outright ignore, this move will keep Nintendo relevant for years to come..

It is insane that Sony still hasn't made a PSPhone, rather than persisting with their ridiculous Vita nonsense. It is beyond insane that Microsoft still hasn't found a way to properly leverage their potential for utter dominance of PC gaming. I'd expect similar moves from both of them in the near future.

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Slang_N_Bang

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It'd be silly for any Japanese game company to avoid phones, Japanese people in general will never, ever give a shit about game hardware again.

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Tom_omb

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#26  Edited By Tom_omb
Mario on PC?
Mario on PC?

I hope that cross platform membership is a true Nintendo account that frees existing and future purchases from being hardware bound. Maybe it'll also be the replacement for Club Nintendo.

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Slag

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Sounds like Nintendo is planning to take their digital eShop to all hardware. Maybe a bit like an Origin or <shudder> UPlay.

maybe then the idea becomes, Nintendo makes unique peripheral hardware like controllers but makes them platform agnostic

That sounds like a far superior strategy than what Sega's plan was post Dreamcast.

Honestly this is fantastic news for me as a Nintendo loving PC as my primary platform guy. Here's hoping the classic stuff is at leats available to play to on the PC!

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Gaff

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ArbitraryWater

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All Nintendo needs to do is release a Pokemon game on iOS with microtransactions and watch the money pour in.

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cikame

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#theworldwelivein

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bigsmoke77

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Too little to late? or can Nintendo pull an Apple inc. and learn from their competitor's innovations and create a product that is the best of the best? I doubt it...

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Seeric

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Nintendo eventually joining just about every other company in Japan and getting into mobile gaming isn't much of a surprise, especially after the Puzzle & Dragon 3DS crossover was announced. On the other hand, Nintendo tentatively taking a step towards releasing games for PCs in any form seems to be pretty major news.

I doubt we'll be seeing Super Mario Online World any time soon, but the ability to play new and/or old Nintendo games on PCs, even if it means needing to buy them on a Nintendo console first or something weird since Nintendo probably won't be making a smooth transition in this regard, is a pretty major event and might be a sign that Nintendo is finally starting to take online elements and accessibility more seriously.

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Anobix

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All Nintendo needs to do is release a Pokemon game on iOS with microtransactions and watch the money pour in.

Sad but true. Microtransactions to buy more pokeballs or something, limit the amount of fights you can do, and they they toss in some sort of match 2 or 3 minigame and you cover most of the F2P games that are on the market.

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joshwent

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All Nintendo needs to do is release a Pokemon game on iOS with microtransactions and watch the money pour in.

Pokemon Snap where you can actually look around with the accelerometer. The WiiU seemed perfect for this, but for whatever insane reason it seems like it won't happen. But the number of folks with an iOS device vs. folks with WiiUs is... significant.

Make my dream come true!!!

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DrDarkStryfe

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#35  Edited By DrDarkStryfe

Nintendo stock is now up 25% in trading.

This is the best direction for Nintendo to head in. It will get more eyes onto Nintendo made products, and gives them an increased war chest to fund their core business. Add in the Zelda Netflix series that is in the pipeline, and Nintendo is starting to show that they are more than willing to diversify their business.

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poser

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Video Games are dead....or at least whatever soul it had left.

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THE_RUCKUS

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@civid: I don't personally care about how they make there games, It just sucks for people that think Nintendo should keep there content on 1st party machine.

This should help stop Nintendo from haemorrhaging money every few years, And keep Nintendo competing against Sony and Microsoft which is good for everyone.

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toowalrus

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zeroeffects

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This is great news because snake on my Nokia phone is getting boring.

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paulmako

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I hope everybody likes Picross!

Seriously though, it's silly people saying that this is a huge change of focus or some kind of admission of defeat from Nintendo.

I imagine they are going to be largely the same company that we already know except we can now get some light Animal crossing themed puzzle games on pc and mobile devices.

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Alucitary

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Pokemon Pokemon Pokemon Pokemon

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Budwyzer

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New Nintendo games on my living room TV, just in time for the Razer ForgeTV? OK

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moonwalksa

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#43  Edited By moonwalksa

I don't have any problem with this so long as it doesn't water-down Nintendo's console and proper handheld experience.

As for the quality of the mobile games themselves, it's too early to say. It'd depend on who is actually involved in the development of those projects, and so far that answer hasn't been given in anything but the most vague sense.

It's odd to me that they specifically mention not doing ports, seems like that'd likely be providing better games than anything some mobile company makes using Nintendo IPs, but maybe it's a sign that they want to keep their best core gaming experiences on Nintendo platforms. If it is the latter, then this is good news, or at the very least not bad news.

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mtfikhan

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We lost

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UncleBenny

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SING AND REJOICE, EVERYONE, FREE-TO-PAY POKEMON IS COMING!

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Budwyzer

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#46  Edited By Budwyzer

@seeric said:

Nintendo eventually joining just about every other company in Japan and getting into mobile gaming isn't much of a surprise, especially after the Puzzle & Dragon 3DS crossover was announced. On the other hand, Nintendo tentatively taking a step towards releasing games for PCs in any form seems to be pretty major news.

I doubt we'll be seeing Super Mario Online World any time soon, but the ability to play new and/or old Nintendo games on PCs, even if it means needing to buy them on a Nintendo console first or something weird since Nintendo probably won't be making a smooth transition in this regard, is a pretty major event and might be a sign that Nintendo is finally starting to take online elements and accessibility more seriously.

A... A... A Super Mario MMORPG????!!!

I would be a Koopa. =D

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Budwyzer

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SING AND REJOICE, EVERYONE, FREE-TO-PAY POKEMON IS COMING!

Master Balls, Rare Candies, and Bicycle/Skates cost diamonds, diamonds cost $$$ ?

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sodapop7

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This is weird stuff to be seeing. It seems strange that the lifespan of the Wii U is going to be so short even though I get why they have to do it. As for the mobile jump as long as they make quality games I'm all for it.

Well if it comes out in 2017 as some people have said that'd be five years, which was the pretty standard life of consoles before the PS3/360 went 7-8 years. Pretty much all the Nintendo consoles are 5-6 years apart.

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Brendan

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Pokemon online would be super awesome if they put some real heart into it.

I don't actually hate Clash if Clans. I don't spend any money and since I only play sporadically the whole countdown timer model doesn't bother me. I just don't play it like a "real" game and sit down with it for meaningful amounts of time. I hope this is great for Nintendo.

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UncleBenny

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@budwyzer said:

@unclebenny said:

SING AND REJOICE, EVERYONE, FREE-TO-PAY POKEMON IS COMING!

Master Balls, Rare Candies, and Bicycle/Skates cost diamonds, diamonds cost $$$ ?

Capturing Pokemons and adventuring costs energy. energy can be gained over time or earned by trading in sapphire. sapphire spending is required to fight against certain gym leaders in order to earn badges and it can be earned through grinding and obtained randomly in game or traded for with cash.

Let's also not forget the regular in game currency, which can also be traded for with ruby, which will also be randomly obtained or traded for with cash. Ruby will also allow you to fight with certain Gym Leaders to obtain badges.

let's not forget that you can buy super rare pokemon market. The market will only accept black gold or white silver, which gate locks what type of rare pokemon you can obtain. black gold and white silver will only be awarded when you trade in a full set of 8 gym badges, which can only be obtained through fighting gym leaders, which is only allowable by paying sapphire or ruby, which can be gained through grinding... or by payment through cash.

Or you can just straight up buy everything with cash.

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