In what may be a surprise to many, and despite previous, vehement objection to the concept in the past, Nintendo has announced a partnership with DeNA (pronounced D-N-A) to bring Nintendo IP to mobile platforms. DeNA is an internet company that “develops and operates a broad range of mobile and online services including games, e-commers and other diversified offerings.”
Soon smartphone and tablet owners will be able to enjoy officially licensed Nintendo apps. These apps and games will, according to the press release, be only original titles instead of ports. “To ensure the quality of game experience that consumers expect from this alliance of Nintendo and DeNA, only new original games optimized for smart device functionality will be created, rather than porting games created specifically for the Wii U home console or the Nintendo 3DS portable system.”
We may also be seeing new additions to our favorite franchises as “all Nintendo IP will be eligible for development and exploration by the alliance.” To go alone with the new games, we will also be seeing an online membership service arriving in Fall later this year. the membership service so far doesn’t have much information behind it. I’m sure we’ll be knowing more soon, but for now it’s at least an interesting proposition.
With everyone using smartphones that are roughly as powerful as many portable gaming systems, it’s no surprise that Nintendo is finally attempting to enter the market. It’s been speculated for a long time, and denied by Nintendo since as early as 2011 where Iwata stated “This is absolutely not under consideration. If we did this, Nintendo would cease to be Nintendo.” Four years later, Nintendo’s crumbled and couldn’t say no to the money potential in catering to the mobile market.
Of course, there’s also the question of what DeNA has put out earlier. That, unfortunately, is a mixed bag. They’ve put out iPad apps like Peter Molyneux’s Godus, several Transformers titles, and some Star Wars mixed in there as well. It’s a trusted company that is familiar with handling large IPs and apparently not doing a terrible job with it. This also means we’ll probably be seeing a lot of free to play titles that make gamers like me cringe (this coming from a guy who plays Brave Frontier). What’s obvious, though, is that these probably won’t be titles meant for us. They’ll be titles meant for gamers who don’t have consoles or a strong gaming PC.
For people afraid Nintendo is going to ignore consoles for developing exclusively for the mobile market, they also teased their next console pretty hard. The new hardware officially has the codename “NX,” which is a little disappointing considering previous codenames included Dolphin and Revolution. during the video announcement, Iwata stated “As proof that Nintendo maintains strong enthusiasm for the dedicated game system business, let me confirm that Nintendo is currently developing a dedicated game platform with a brand-new concept under the development name ‘NX.’ It is too early to elaborate on the details of this project, but we hope to share more information with you next year.” The fact that a system is in development is no surprise. That being said, it looks like Nintendo is going to be the first to release a new console again, acting as a sort of “half-generation” because that’s what they do. I’ll be interested to see what more is announced next year, but it’s good to know they won’t abandon their roots.
What do you think of Nintendo on mobile platforms, though? Let us know in the comments!