Nintendo going mobile - Report

Japanese paper says company will make free smartphone demos of Nintendo-exclusive titles

Earlier this month, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata told investors the company was rethinking how to use mobile platforms to grow its gaming business. Some details of such an approach are expected this week, according to a Nikkei newspaper report translated by analyst Dr. Serkan Toto.

The paper reports that Nintendo will be launching a mobile initiative this year that will use smartphones as a way to market its console games. Part of the strategy calls for delivering videos and information about new games to mobile users, but the company is also expanding that to include playable demos of its console titles. The demos will reportedly be free, intended only to hook players and convince them to purchase the full games to play on Nintendo hardware.

More details are expected to come this Thursday during a briefing for investors.

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Latest comments (12)

Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee8 years ago
It would be an interesting strategy.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.8 years ago
Even newspapers are publishing "click bait" these now.

Nintendo will not put demos on mobile devices. It's rather silly to even consider it given the major differences in interface. Either you design a game for mobile or 3DS/Wii U. You don't design a game for 3DS/Wii U and then add some ad hoc control scheme that has almost zero representation of the actual product on the console.

What they might do is publish videos on mobile or even create complementary apps at most but demos don't make any sense whatsoever.
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James Brightman Editor, North America, GamesIndustry.biz8 years ago
This makes no sense to me. If the goal is to demo console or 3DS AAA titles, how is that properly demoed on a touchscreen device like a phone or tablet?
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Show all comments (12)
Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.8 years ago
I suspect we'll see Android on Nintendo devices long before we see Nintendo on Android/iOS devices.
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Steve Peterson Marketing Consultant 8 years ago
While Nintendo might do something with mobile, this doesn't sound like it. It would be basically taking an ad out on mobile, perhaps more effective than most ads, but still just an ad. It's moving a deck chair or two, which won't change the iceberg situation.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 8 years ago
Hmmmmm. The ONLY way I could see this working (if it's true) is those "demos" being simple touch-bait style ads where you can (with a finger instead of a stylus) play something after or during a trailer you've watched. Kind of like those old Flash "punch the monkey!" ads that have a redirect to Nintendo's store. But those ads were and ARE annoying as hell, so I hope this story is a bad myth or just a rumor kicked up by someone...
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 8 years ago
I'm still for Nintendo making apps for mobile, like a Pokemon tracker or something like that. They could charge 99 cents for it or make it free. I still don't see them putting any of their marque titles on mobile. If they ever released a game on mobile it would be something so obscure that even google might have a problem referencing it. But their heavy hitter first party games are staying on Nintendo platforms for life.
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Neil Young Programmer, Rebellion Developments8 years ago
If true, I'm guessing "demo" is probably the wrong word. Some sort of companion app might work, especially if it linked with the full game somehow.
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Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University8 years ago
The actual phrase used in the Nikkei article isn't demo, it's more "playable mini games". I'm assuming, if this were true, Nintendo would launch mini games related to their upcoming console games yet not equivalent to it, in order to hook more customers. So a demonstration of the game experience, but not quite a demo as we understand it. It's not as ludicrous as it sounds when you consider it that way, and Iwata has said several times now that they have been preparing ways to use smart devices to get more people buying their consoles.

A Nintendo Direct app, including release dates, mini-games, trailers and information for upcoming releases might work--especially if Nintendo start to tie this into a central account, and launch Miiverse and eShop apps for smart devices. Their thinking of what a platform is needs to change. It's no longer just the box, but the all round service you provide accessed through a variety of devices.
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Neil Young Programmer, Rebellion Developments8 years ago
@daniel Miiverse apps for smartphones have been mentioned by nintendo already, so that bit's confirmed.
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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 8 years ago
What a misleading title. Advertising games on mobile phones is not the same as making games for mobile phones. At most Nintendo might create some free apps to promote there stuff but thats it.
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Robin Clarke Producer, AppyNation Ltd8 years ago
I'm not sure why any news outlet has to rely on a self-described "mobile and social consultant" to translate Japanese news articles.

Sure, it makes me nostalgic for the days when Western mags would reproduce screenshots from Japanese mags and make wild guesses, but things have moved on now.
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