Nintendo, once the king of mobile gaming, has found itself struggling with the rise of smartphones. Although the company’s 3DS portable console can’t be claimed as a total flop, it’s certainly not as popular as Nintendo’s previous iterations of the console like the DS or the GameBoy. It’s easy to see why though as most people seem to have a perfectly good gaming device in their pockets all the time now in the form of their smartphone. People no longer need to buy or carry around an entirely separate device dedicated to gaming.
There have been several critics who have suggested that Nintendo can give up making hardware and instead just start releasing games based on its prize characters such as Mario, Link and Kirby as iOS apps. The advice is short-sighted but it doesn’t mean that Nintendo can’t leverage Apple’s iOS platform, which is exactly what the company seems to have in mind. In a recent interview with Reggie Fils-Aime, the President of Nintendo America, Aime’s said that the company was “experimenting” with mobile platforms. He mentioned the following regarding the matter:
We recognize that there are a lot of smartphones and tablets out there, and so what we’re doing is we’re being very smart in how we use these devices as marketing tools for our content. We’re also doing a lot of experimentation of what I would call the little experiences you can have on your smartphone and tablet that will drive you back to your Nintendo hardware. It’s largely going to be much more marketing activity-oriented, but we’ve done little things where there’s some element of gameplay – a movement, a shaking, something like that.
Although you may be left wanting more from Nintendo when it comes to mobile gaming on other mobile platforms, you have to keep in mind that in many ways, Nintendo is Japan’s Apple. The company tightly integrates hardware and software to create a magical experience. Telling Nintendo to give up on hardware is comparable to telling Apple to license the iOS platform and stop making iPhones. That being said, Nintendo does need to take advantage of and leverage today’s world which is saturated with smartphones and it seems like the company is finally hopping on the bandwagon which is headed in the right direction.