Until now Nintendo has largely ignored the smartphone and tablet revolution that has been happening around it and instead stuck to its tried and tested formula of creating consoles and popular games to play on them. However disappointing sales of the Wii U has prompted lots of speculation that Nintendo can no longer ignore mobiles devices and that the company is planning to bring its iconic characters like Super Mario and Zelda to mobile devices.
Japan’s Nikkei business newspaper is reporting that Nintendo will indeed venture onto mobile this year but not by porting its games over to Android or iOS but rather by using these platforms as a way to promote its consoles and games.
According to the Nikkei Nintendo will use Android and iOS as a advertising medium through an official Nintendo app. The app will publish news and video about upcoming titles.
As well as the official Nintendo app, it is reported that the company plans to offer mini-games for smartphones and tablets that work as demos for the full console games. The idea being that if users like the games they will go out and buy a full priced console and the game. Apparently these mini-games will be completely free nor Nintendo isn’t planning on using a freemium model. Rather, the exposure and anticipated boost in game and console sales will offset any development and promotion costs.
We're being very smart in how we use these devices as marketing tools for our content.
This isn’t the first time that this idea has been mooted. In December Reggie Fils-Aime Present of Nintendo America told Seattle King 5 News, “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.” He added, “Our philosophy that Nintendo games are best played on Nintendo devices has not changed.”
It is expected that Nintendo will make an announcement on Thursday after it has held an investor’s briefing.