Nintendo Not Making Mini-Game Apps For Smartphones

By William Usher 2014-01-28 14:46:38 discussion comments
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If you were hoping to get a small taste of upcoming Wii U or 3DS games on your iPhone or Android, you're in for a not-so-surprising awakening: Nintendo isn't down with that.

Recently, it was speculated by Nikkei that the Big 'N' would be exploring mobile options for their properties... that perhaps they could leverage their position in the market by reaching a broader audience; tapping into more than a billion smartphone owners with apps or small demos tuned around their intellectual properties. The idea seemed inventive, ambitious and a bit counter-culture to the typical Nintendo methodology.

Well, if it seemed counter-culture to the Nintendo methodology to outsiders, then it was doubly so for Nintendo, as Engadget reported that Nintendo offered a statement clarifying their position on smart devices and mobile handsets, stating with no uncertain clarity that...
"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.

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 mini-games on smartphone devices. "

Well that's a bummer... sort of... I guess?

The reality is that the Nintendo 3DS already matches the totality of Google Play's Android app sales, so it's not like the mobile market is actually more lucrative for Nintendo than what they're already accomplishing in the dedicated handheld market.

In fact, it's embarrassing that at approximately 6% of the install base of the Android market the 3DS has comparative revenue. That shows that Nintendo has rather strong brand valuation on the market. Diluting that valuation in any way could easily decrease their own sales, and work as a countermeasure against moving software for their mobile devices.

But how about the Wii U? Where does it fit in all of this? Well, the sales haven't been remarkable, but the system really picked it up in the last half of 2013. The biggest drawback to the console was a lack of software and a lack of proper marketing. Nintendo has already promised more software titles and a stronger marketing presence in 2014. I'd like to imagine that that fix should work well enough to help them maintain some sales momentum of the hardware throughout the fiscal period.

I'd like to see how well the Wii U performs for January and February, as that will easily give us a proper gauge on how well Nintendo is doing post-holiday. If they're still having trouble moving units like Trey Radel has trouble keeping off the white powder, then it may be a tougher uphill struggle for the Big 'N' than we all thought.
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