Nintendo has a vast catalogue of games that still appeal. It has a stable of star characters that resonate with people who were brought up with them from babyhood. So why the hell hasn't shifted these to mobile? Read on...
Speaking at a recent Corporate Management Policy Briefing to attempt to pour salve on the wounds of a bad financial third quarter Nintendo president Satoru Iwata finally blew the idea that Nintendo would not consider its IP on other platforms out of the water... at long last. And it will happen this year.
"I have often heard the opinion from many that Nintendo should release its first-party content on smart devices. The rationale behind such a suggestion, in my view, is that it would be illogical not to expand our business on smart devices given that they have outsold dedicated video game systems by a large margin," he told the world.
He continued, "we would like to, instead of directly expanding our business on smart devices, focus on achieving greater ties with our consumers on smart devices and expanding our platform business. However, creating stronger ties with consumers would require them to engage with our offers frequently. As we know that this is not an easy task to achieve, we will use a small, select team of developers to achieve it."
But there is still tight control: "I have not given any restrictions to the development team, even not ruling out the possibility of making games or using our game characters. However, if you report that we will release Mario on smart devices, it would be a completely misleading statement. It is our intention to release some application on smart devices this year that is capable of attracting consumer attention and communicating the value of our entertainment offerings, so I would encourage you to see how our approach yields results.
"Also, there is one more thing that I would like to mention about utilizing smart devices. With respect to services previously released on dedicated video game systems that are, however, capable of improving usability and consumer experience when they are implemented on smart devices, we will try to actively shift their focus to smart devices. This is to say that we will no longer spend an equal amount of resources toward providing the same service both on and off device, but will instead concentrate on the one that has greater purpose as well as room for improvement.
"The environment in which our users can download paid software is one example of where we should aim to make more off-device improvements than on-device ones."
So, some movement in what has recently been perceived as a complacent and then directionless organisation. Fingers crossed!