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Nintendo denies it is working on minigames for smartphones
Nintendo denies it is working on minigames for smartphones
January 27, 2014 | By Christian Nutt

UPDATE: In a statement to Engadget, Nintendo said there was no truth to the Nikkei report.

"Nikkei's article contains information previously stated by Mr Iwata during past press conferences, including statements which relate to Nintendo's willingness to make use of smart devices to promote our products, " it reads. "However during such past announcements Mr Iwata has also stated that Nintendo's intention is not to make Nintendo software available on smart devices and as such, we can confirm that there are no plans to offer minigames on smartphone devices."

Original article: Nintendo seems set to dip a toe into the smartphone market -- but go no further than that.

Japanese game industry consultant Serkan Toto has summarized a report from Japanese business newspaper Nikkei's website that suggests that at a company briefing later this week, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata will announce that the company pans to promote its games via a smartphone app.

According to the report (and bear in mind this is a report -- we'll likely know more official details later this week), the app will provide marketing materials such as videos, or even demos, of its games -- cost-free. But interested players will have to purchase its consoles and full-priced games to play them for real.

Iwata recently hinted at this strategy in comments made at a press conference after the company announced that the Wii U console would drag the company to a loss this year:

"We are thinking about a new business structure... Given the expansion of smart devices, we are naturally studying how smart devices can be used to grow the game-player business. It's not as simple as enabling Mario to move on a smartphone," Iwata said.

Nintendo has said in the past that social media sharing within Animal Crossing: New Leaf drove sales of the game. As of October 31, that game had sold over 6 million copies worldwide.

Gamasutra's editors recently tackled the question of whether Nintendo should make smartphone games. Assuming the Nikkei's report is accurate, the company clearly intends to use smartphones as tools to increase the popularity of its console and handheld titles -- not replace them.

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