Nintendo launches first paid-for iOS app

Pokédex for iOS will cost ¥170, with four ¥500 add-ons

Nintendo subsidiary The Pokémon Company will publish Pokédex for iOS on the Japanese market, the first paid-for Nintendo product for the platform.

The app, an encyclopaedia of 150 creatures, will cost ¥170, with add-on packs of new creatures available at ¥500 each. It's a big move for the company, which has been notoriously shy of releasing Nintendo titles on platforms that aren't its own. And while The Pokémon Company may just be a subsidiary, its hard to imagine any significant success on iOS will be ignored by the Nintendo bosses.


The app was developed by Creatures Inc, another subsidiary of Nintendo, and Game Freak which develops games exclusively for Nintendo. Between them the three companies share the copyright for the Pokémon brand.

Nintendo's first ever app was actually Pokémon Say Tap?, a free game for iOS and that was released in Japan from July to September last year and on Android from August to October.

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Latest comments (6)

Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee9 years ago
I thought this was quite interesting when I heard. You never know, one day we may be seeing a full Pokemon title on a mobile ;)
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Tom Keresztes Programmer 9 years ago
Never say never again.
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Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University9 years ago
I think we're a long way from seeing full titles on iOS or Android, especially since this comes from a relatively independent subsidiary of Nintendo and not Nintendo themselves. As the article states though, if this proves there's money to be made, Nintendo will turn their attention to it and consider what to do next.

Personally I think they should consider pushing Virtual Console as a cross-platform 3DS, Wii U, tablet and smartphone service. Let people who own a 3DS/Wii U use their Virtual Console games across all their formats (including smartphones/tablets), and use it as a way of familiarising the broader tablet/smartphone audience with Nintendo's brands, so that they'll consider buying Nintendo consoles to play the latest iterations of those brands. There seem to be slight changes in Nintendo's thinking, their PR reps are now describing smartphones etc as their "allies", with Nintendo's internal data pointing to trends that suggest some tablet and smartphone only gamers will happily move into console gaming.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.9 years ago
GameFreak and Creatures Inc are not wholly owned subsidiaries of Nintendo. In fact, GameFreak is private. Combined, the two companies own 2/3rds of the rights to the Pokemon IP. That means they could release this app without Nintendo support.

So Nintendo still has yet to launch an iOS or Android app.
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Patrick Frost QA Project Monitor 9 years ago
Nice to see Nintendo accepting that people will use their phones and that they can make them an opportunity to promote their products. I don't see this as anything other than Nintendo making an accessory for their game, so no chance that this will lead to full titles being published on mobile.

If anything, this is the test bed for the Miiverse apps.
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I have no issue with Nintendo releasing "cut-down" or "mini" games on mobile/tablet devices. Apart from any revenue, it acts as a great marketing platform - and they can stick obvious references to their consoles/handhelds, and the "full/real" versions of the games.

I seriously doubt we'll ever see Nintendo themselves internally develop anything for a non-Ninty platform.
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