Nintendo Smart Device Games & Multi-platform Gaming Network


Huuuuuuge news coming out of Tokyo this morning! Nintendo has formed a massive partnership with mobile gaming giant DeNA to bring Nintendo’s IPs to smart devices as well as develop a multi-platform gaming network spanning across PC, smart devices, Wii U, and 3DS. This news is INCREDIBLE for people like me and Graev who have always wanted Nintendo to finally get into some form of online service.

Nintendo has always been afraid of diminishing the value of their handheld consoles like the New Nintendo 3DS XL by releasing games on platforms like the iPhone, but with this multi-platform gaming network perhaps allowing all of these devices to interact in some way, it can only strengthen the power of their overall trend toward ‘mobile’ gaming.

Here are a few key notes from the announcement:

  • All apps/games will be new games (not ports) based on the Nintendo IPS and will utilize the characters, etc.
  • ALL of Nintendo’s IPs are up for grabs
  • The games will be designed toward “more premium experiences” on the smart devices (aka the higher priced games)
  • The multi-platform gaming network will be an”online membership service”
  • Nintendo gets 10% of DeNA, and DeNA gets 1.24% of Nintendo

I’m stoked. I love my iPhone 6 Plus, and I love my New Nintendo 3DS XL. If I can get nintendo games on my iPhone then I can ‘game’ more inconspicuously in places where busting out my 3DS is a little less socially acceptable than staring at a phone. I’m betting it’s only a matter of time too before Nintendo’s eShop will be available on their ‘online membership service’ allowing us to download these “ports” of games they supposedly aren’t working on right now. Give it time. It’ll happen.

I’m also really excited for the possibility that Nintendo may actually have something a little more like Xbox Live. It will be a platform that connects all players regardless of their device, and it will perhaps finally allow for the multiplayer experiences I’ve been wanting in my Nintendo games.

  • There may be some interesting stuff that comes out of this, but you have to temper your enthusiasm when Iwata straight up said, “We have no intention at all to port existing game titles for dedicated game platforms to smart devices because if we cannot provide our consumers with the best possible play experiences, it would just ruin the value of Nintendo’s IP.”

    So this will not, for example, mean core Pokemon RPG titles on iPhone. At least not any time soon. Speculation I have seen is that this is more along the lines of a replacement for the soon-to-be-dead Club Nintendo. We shall see.

  • I want a remake of Link to the Past. They better not be worried about losing SNES sales!

    Oh man, and they could totally do a Pokémon Snap where you can actually look around you with your device. As a bonus you could save pictures you’ve taken to your device.

    I wouldn’t expect them to remake Red, Blue or whatever color, metal, gem they’re up to now but it would be cool to see some kind of Pokémon RPG come out for smartphones and tablets.

  • Right, so they won’t port existing titles. New titles? What stops them from creating brand new titles using the IP for smart devices? Technically, why couldn’t they make a new Pokemon for iPhone? That’s not porting — that’s a new title. Porting would be to take a current game like Pokemon Sapphire Blue and make it for iPhone when it natively wasn’t designed to be an iPhone game. Porting is like what they did with Baldur’s Gate series, except they did it really well.

    I give them a year maybe two tops before they integrate the eShop for multi-platform support.

  • I’d much rather they port classics than create new games, because new games are far more likely to be ‘mobile’ titles than stuff that has core Nintendo gameplay/polish, even if they said they will be priced above ‘free’.

    We’ll see, but IMO this is more likely to result in a Link click-fest title than a new Zelda instant classic.