Nintendo to use Android, but not in the way you think

by: Gary SimsJanuary 28, 2014

Zelda game on Wii UUntil 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.

We're being very smart in how we use these devices as marketing tools for our content.

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.

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.

  • Shark Bait

    Just bring the games to android !! Theres no money in console hardware these days any way so why bother !

    • monkey god

      It would suck the remaining life of their Nintendo 3DS if they were to bring games to another portable platforms. Unlike the Wii U, the 3DS is still selling fairly well. They should only do games for other platform when they exit the hardware business like Sega. I don’t see that happening anytime soon though.

      • Shark Bait

        I think the next DS should just be a phone. People would rather have a iPad or nexus 7 than a DS now

        • Rune

          No need for that, just put Dalvik VM on 3DS so it can run Android apps & games. Should be an incentive for people to buy more 3DS (look, tiny thief on my 3ds, ha! lol).

          Problem is, does 3DS (or any next DS) have sufficient hardware to run Android app smoothly ?

          • CpuKnight

            Um the 3DS has pretty underwhelming hardware actually. Its basically a Dual-Core Snap S1 with probably at most adreno 220 graphics. I mean yeah Android would run okay but the games won’t.

          • Jayfeather787

            It has a 384 MHZ dual core yep. Not that good.

        • forenuser

          May be that people wants an iPad or N7. But i doubt that “Video Gamers” really prefer touch controll instead of “real” mechanical buttons and controll cross.

          • Shark Bait

            Yes I agree, I think their is a good opportunity for Nintendo to make a great gaming phone , like the PlayStation phone but better and with pokemon !

  • Rune

    “Nintendo games are best played on Nintendo devices”
    or, in other words:
    “We don’t have enough expertise to make Nintendo games run on different hardware”

    No wonder Nintendo is slow to adapt market change. Let’s see how long they can kept like that. Adapt or out of business, whichever come first.

    • monkey god

      I don’t think its because they CANT make games for other hardware. It’s that they don’t want to give away exclusive IPs that would have a negative affect on their hardware sales. If they start making Mario games that will run other systems, then its pretty much game over for Nintendo as a hardware company.

    • MasterMuffin

      they don’t want anyone to have their stuff. They want all the money

    • Ouch, burn! Love it. Everything is being continuously disrupted. Nothing complacent survives.

  • A googler

    They really haven’t got a flipping clue, someone give them a whack

  • trwb

    Nice knowing you Nintendo

  • Leo Matija

    we have emulators :D

    • MadCowOnAStick

      all the DS emulators lag like hell, 3DS emulator doesn’t exist

  • Wezi427

    Nintendo is for kids. They need to get out of the hardware business. They try what Sega did and become software only.

  • wezi427

    They need to do what Sega did and become a software only company. They have to be losing a ton of money. I also think that if they are going to stay in the hardware business they need to make a console that is cutting edge.

    • forenuser

      Take a look at Sega. Do you really want Nintendo to end up like that?

      • wezi427

        What do you think is going to happen if they don’t change?

        • MrMagoo

          Change yes…roll over and die… no

          • wezi427

            Is Sega still in business?

          • MrMagoo

            Yes, but just as a software company. But if there is any room for a new company, there is room for one to re-vamp themselves. The original Wii was under powered and had some of the craziest ideas for controls and other things. When the PS3 and XBOX360 came out, the Wii was selling both of them under the table by leagues!!! It just takes the right marketing and niche to get people to buy. Nintendo has always been good with that, all while going against the grain!

          • wezi427

            I was being sarcastic. What I’m saying is that I think that company moving to a software only company will help them survive. The Wii was unique, but it didn’t have the longevity of the other 2. I know that Nintendo is more focused on user experiences than graphical eye candy. I think that neglecting the eye candy hurts them in the eyes of the consumer.

        • forenuser

          I do not know what will happen if Nintendo do not change. Perhaps they will go down and “die”. But i am sure that dying is better than “living” by the mercy of Google, Microsoft and Sony.

          Sega did not do too great as software supplier without own hardware.

          • wezi427

            Some people think they do know what is going to happen. I don’t think that they are going away, but I do think that they eventually will need to restructurethemselves if they are going to survive.

  • Aar0nC

    They can keep on thinking what they want. I just use their game ROMs and a good emulator and boom, instant Nintendo gaming console on my phone… They are going to become the blackberry of the gaming world in the next couple years

  • Brendon Brown

    Make the 3DS an Android gaming machine ?

  • MrMagoo

    I don’t understand why you all want them to just roll over and die! We’re talking about Nintendo!!! They are one of the first and biggest Video game companies of the world!!! Maybe I’m old school, but put yourself in their shoes! Would you just wanna jump ship as soon as things get tough? I expect them to adapt like all other companies do and work themselves back into the monster company they have been in years past. GOOD LUCK NINTENDO!!!! :-P to all you haters!! :-)

  • WestFiasco

    When it happens, i will play their games and not buy their hardware. Who really needs it in 2014. Give me the games, i don’t want your consoles and handhelds.

  • Arturo Raygoza

    assimilate or die, we are the Borg resistance is futile.

  • HYDroblaze

    Pokemon MINI GAMES