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Nintendo: We're considering how to use mobile in our business
Nintendo: We're considering how to use mobile in our business
November 6, 2013 | By Mike Rose

November 6, 2013 | By Mike Rose
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    11 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



"The era has ended when people play all kinds of games only on dedicated gaming systems... it is natural that many people feel that it is more convenient to use smart devices, as opposed to dedicated gaming systems, to play games to kill a bit of time."
- Nintendo president Satoru Iwata admits that the mobile games space is far eclipsing traditional dedicated hardware -- although he maintains that Nintendo currently has no plans to bring its games to mobile.

As part of an Investors' Q&A session, Iwata noted that some of the areas in which dedicated consoles and handhelds used to hold the upper-hand with regarding to playing video games, "now have greater potential on smart devices."

Yet Iwata believes that dedicated systems can still provide unique experiences that mobile cannot. "With that in mind, my view is that the gaming market will be segregated to a fair degree," he added.

But rather than compete with mobile games, Nintendo is looking to use smart devices to its advantage, such as providing the Wii U's Miiverse networking service on mobile.

"Starting with this attempt, we are discussing among us how we can expand the use of smart devices to help drive the business of dedicated gaming systems," he continued. "We also know that many watch Nintendo Direct on their smart devices. Rather than simply viewing smart devices as competitors, we should consider ways in which we can use them for our business."

Later, when asked whether Nintendo will ever consider releasing games for smart devices, Iwata said that "at the moment" the company has no such plans.

Iwata also discussed the topic of digital game pricing, including the sort of pricing models found on the App Store right now, noting, "There are some people who insist that digital products tend to become cheaper and eventually become very close to being offered for free. In other words, deflation in prices in the digital business can increase if you are not careful enough."


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Comments


Zack Wood
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Of course there will always be a special spot for consoles. Some games are just better on TVs, not mobile devices. So I think it's smart of them to use mobile networks, but not actually compete with mobile games.

Ryan Christensen
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Nintendo can still make hardware but can you imagine how Nintendo would crush the appstores?

Then again maybe the titles are too deep or don't fit and will lose some of the magic, or maybe a F2P Mario is unbearable for some. I think it could really deliver some heavy revenue for Nintendo. If they stay true to their game design/fun aspects, they could deliver some of the best mobile games yet, maybe even remake mobile in a better way, influencing others to make better games.

I'd like to play some Nintendo games on my devices, I don't know that I'll ever buy another Nintendo (have all through Wii) so it would be nice.

Katy Smith
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I probably wouldn't like a F2P Mario game, but I'd play a f2p Animal Crossing. It all depends on the title and the platform.

Ryan Christensen
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True. Maybe a Super Smash F2P for the PvP aspect (with a non pay mode maybe) kinda Dota or League of Legends style.

And an open world Super Mario World game might be interesting.

Both probably only doable as F2P on mobile.

Nintendo could also add to the peripherals market and maybe make some controllers, they might be able to sell lots of those for some deeper games.

I grew up on Nintendo games, ready for them on my mobile so other kids can grow up with them. It was really about the games not the hardware, so hoping Nintendo makes this move.

Bob Johnson
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Eh if you want your kids on Nintendo games then you'll buy a Nintendo platform. If not then you won't.

But I find it hard to believe a fan of their games would let the difference between the cost of a Nintendo controller/peripheral for a mobile device and the cost of a 2ds stop them from playing Nintendo games.

Ryan Christensen
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Most kids just want a tablet or phone is why, not what I want them to play. And I did get my kid all Nintendos out at the time through DS + Wii. It is about what they want now, you have to put your games there.

I don't necessarily think that nintendo is solely about the hardware, it was about the quality game, the hardware was cool as hell and the 8-bit NES was the best at the time. The interface/system to get to those shouldn't be locked to Nintendo hardware is all I am saying, it can still exist. It might even make their hardware more modern/network friendly sooner that it has in the past, more friendly to new tech. The cost of the hardware isn't the thing anymore, it is what other games you can get and what else you can do on the hardware now. Also, not just for Nintendo fans which you mention only the true may buy their hardware off of nostalgia, this is for getting new players who might never get a Nintendo console since they got tablets/phones/pods/other consoles.

Nintendo on mobile could also help really establish a premium/quality tier in mobile pricing like X-COM. They could easily get $20 a title and way more if some sort of F2P done right the Nintendo way.

Jason French
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I'm excited to see what they come up with. Who knows, they could stumble upon a new creative model that adds value to both device classes. I'd guess the pressure is on for the execs at Nintendo ó and not just from investors, but from their huge rabid fanbase which they've been building since the late 1800s :)

I want them to get this right :)

Bob Johnson
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The part about using mobile for their business is old news. Iwata said this before in quarterly reports. And has mentioned MiiVerse on phones before. They already have a Pokedex on iOS even.

The part about declaring this the end of an era is a subtle change in the language they previously have used when talking about mobile and gaming. To me it is saying they do have a plan b and plan b today doesn't involve releasing their games on mobile.

Curtis Turner - IceIYIaN
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To have Nintendo make games on non-Nintendo mobile devices is just plain ignorant or you're totally biased, because you own somebody else's mobile device and not a Nintendo one.

The better route for Nintendo would be to add texting/calling to their mobile devices(With wireless InterwebZ so popular and users becoming smarter about this, this would be unlikely). The other route would be to make a standard mini-tablet(Cell) or normal tablet, with the ability for gamepads or some kind of gamepad add-on.

Nintendo's mobile platforms already print money. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Curtis Turner - IceIYIaN
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On the other side of the coin, like Nintendo wants to do, is have these other cells or tablets integrate into the Wii U or 23DS. Nintendo feels pressure by Microsoft and Sony to do this. It can lead to a lot of innovation and other ways to play video games.

Jonathan Murphy
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This reminds me a lot of Iwata in the Game Cube era. I think a better direction is fixing the Wii U.


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