by Andrew Sims
After throwing up their hands earlier this year and finally agreeing to enter the smart phone (presumably iPhone, Android) market, Nintendo is now promising their first game will be out by the end of the year.
Nintendo President Satoru Iwata confirmed in an earnings briefing today that the video game company is planning to release five games a year. “You may think it is a small number, but when we aim to make each title a hit, and because we want to thoroughly operate every one of them for a significant amount of time after their releases, this is not a small number at all and should demonstrate our serious commitment to the smart device business,” he said.
At this time we still don’t know which of their popular characters will star in Nintendo’s first mobile device game, but naturally fans are hoping to see Mario, Link, Pikachu, or a few characters from Animal Crossing.
No matter what characters appear, don’t expect the game to be a port from an existing Nintendo device. Iwata explained today that they are avoiding ports because the experience is very different from that on a Nintendo device:
“If we were simply to port software that already has a track record on a dedicated game system, it would not match the play styles of smart devices, and the appropriate business models are different between the two, so we would not anticipate a great result,” he said. “If we did not aim to achieve a significant result, it would be meaningless for us to do it at all. Accordingly, we are going to carefully select appropriate IP and titles for our smart device deployment.”
We’re happy to see Nintendo is taking their smart device business seriously by focusing on the quality of the games (“aim[ing] to make each title a hit,” as they say). It’d be disappointing to see a throwaway Pokemon or Mario game hit the App Store just for the sake of getting these “IP’s” onto an iPhone.
Then again, we’re still not sure how good these games will be, so we’ll avoid getting our hopes up until we see the first one hit our pockets later this year.
Related: Universal to bring the world of Nintendo to theme parks