It’s finally happening. Mario, Donkey Kong, Pokemon, etc., will be making their way to your mobile devices without the use of an unauthorized emulator. Eventually.
As of today, during a Tokyo-held conference, Nintendo’s stance on sharing their intellectual properties to other companies like Apple and their iOS and Google’s Android has changed. Up until now, their perspective on the matter was that in no-way, no-how would they offer up any of their content to their mobile competitors. Well, that is no more.
Nintendo has just invested 10% into DeNa (while the latter invested 1.24% into Nintendo), an amount that racks up to over $180 million, to provide their content to mobile competitors. The partnership between mobile gaming mogul, DeNa and Nintendo will spread existing and new games across smartphones, tablets, and personal computers, meaning that possibilities for Nintendo are now vast and open beyond measure. PLEASE LET THERE BE A POKEMON MMO.
Why exactly has Nintendo been taking so long to do this? The answer is a simple one; control. Nintendo was worried that if they opened their doors to allowing their console-only games to venture out into the world of their competitors, then they would be losing a vast majority of sales of Wii’s, WiiU’s, 3DS’, and the like. Of course, from a business standpoint, more consoles selling your games means more users at your disposal, right? Perhaps, but if you make great software like say, a game, but you make poor hardware like say, a 2DS (which is pretty cool, btw), then now you are losing a portion of your business. To put it simply, a user is likely to put up with a brand they do not necessarily prefer if it provides them a unique opportunity to enjoy another brand that maintains a strong, albeit exclusive partnership. Pokemon and Mario are great examples of this.
Shown Above: iPhone 6S+
What’s interesting, is that while Nintendo is signing a deal and working with mobile device makers across the board, is that games like Pokemon Yellow, or Super Mario Bros were never really controlled and functioning solely on Nintendo’s devices. Through the downloads of emulators, gamers were able to install whatever Nintendo franchise they choose on their Android or iOS devices. Of course now what this means is that the experience will be streamlined, consistent, and safe.
“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.“
This quote dashes our hopes of ports, but at least it’s a start. We were hoping for Pokemon Snap for the iPad. Then again, this entire news story is basically Nintendo changing their stance on something they felt so strongly about for years. Of course, they had no choice when they realized that their mobile gaming strategy could not stack up to the likes of iOS and Android, the former being the largest gaming platform on the planet with hundreds of millions of concurrent users.
Nintendo’s president, Satoru Iwata also added briefly in the Tokyo conference meet that Nintendo is already focusing on their new console, codenamed “NX” that will feature new concepts to gaming as a whole. No further details on NX were provided, though Iwata stated he hopes to have more on the subject next year.