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Could Nintendo Be Forced to Go iOS, Android?

By - Source: Boy Genius Report | B 38 comments

The Boy Genius Report has an interesting article about the future of Nintendo. It actually starts as a hands-on impression of the new Wii U console, but moves on to suggest that Nintendo may be forced to port its games to Apple's iOS and Google's Android mobile platforms, following the likes of Sega, Electronic Arts, Square Enix and other popular developers making loads of money in the mobile sector.

The hands-on report of the Wii U isn't flattering whatsoever, saying that the new console "clearly demonstrates how far Nintendo has fallen and how out of touch the company is." Investors seemingly felt the same way when Nintendo revealed the console during E3 2011, saying that the company needed to focus more on mobile rather than another TV-grounded gaming device because that's where customers have gone.

But here we are in December 2012 with another gaming platform that tries to bridge the typical living room gaming hardware set with the mobility of a tablet. "The fact that Nintendo actually decided to ship this joke of a controller called the GamePad with a 6.2-inch touchscreen in the middle says it all," the report reads. "It only lasted for around two hours per charge over the week I’ve used it, and it’s big, clunky and made of glossy Nintendo plastic."

Ouch. The report goes on to state that this new controller has no charm, it feels "thrown together" as if Nintendo is stating that it can address mobility without actually entering the mobile market. Even more, the console's UI is reportedly "a mess" and looks blatantly Japanese, reportedly a bad move in a world full of iOS and Android devices that don't typically reveal a country of origin.

"It lacks any and all sophistication," the report states. "It’s like all of Nintendo’s designers just gave up and are living in a time when Apple’s iOS devices and Google’s Android devices don’t exist, blissfully ignoring the threat that their company is facing from all angles."

Granted this is just one opinion, and sales figures will dictate how well Nintendo will succeed with this next-generation product. But the gaming industry itself has been worried about the overall direction the market will take in the next yew years. Gamers in general have become accustomed to purchasing smaller bits for a cheaper price, able to port their gaming habit on a multi-functional device. Plus the rising cost of AAA development and the declining sales of high-dollar games have led to speculation that another great Video Game Crash will soon take place.

"The Wii U experience is so terrible that it took over an hour to update the software on the console recently, and apparently that wasn’t that bad," the report adds. "People have told me their updates took over 4 hours when performed closer to Christmas. Do you know what that 7-year-old is doing during those 4 hours you’re making him wait? Playing Temple Run or Angry Birds on his iPad mini. Way to go Nintendo."

Nintendo is probably the only major old-school game developer still rejecting the smartphone and tablet market. The company even publicly rejected any thought of a mobile move when stocks began to rise once rumor began to spread that a Pokemon game was coming to iOS. If anything, the old-school console as we know it, despite what gimmick Nintendo can muster up to generate sales, is likely ready to retire.

Unless Nintendo embraces change more so than it has with the Wii U, it will be forced to bring its popular IPs like Mario, Pokemon and Zelda to the mobile platforms. Just look at Sega, Activision, EA and Square Enix: they're not only sitting on mountains of cash, but likely in the pockets and hands of every gamer who owns an iPad, iPhone, Android smartphone and tablet. That's a LOT of missed revenue for Nintendo.

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Top Comments
  • 15 Hide
    Anonymous , January 3, 2013 12:14 AM
    Let the marketplace decide not some opinionated twat.
Other Comments
  • 8 Hide
    Anonymous , January 3, 2013 12:05 AM
    I hope this article is 100% false.
  • 15 Hide
    Anonymous , January 3, 2013 12:14 AM
    Let the marketplace decide not some opinionated twat.
  • Display all 38 comments.
  • 2 Hide
    Filiprino , January 3, 2013 12:14 AM
    Investors should shut the f**k up and learn some technological related knowledge so their rotten brain stops thinking on idiotic things like that.
    Nintendo has hardware control, they own the whole chain of their business and it's retarded to make games for other platforms.
    If they should make software for other platforms would be with the sole objective of getting more people using their devices and network.
  • 5 Hide
    bustapr , January 3, 2013 12:26 AM
    I see alot of points in this guys claims, but I believe hes only trying to look at the bad side of the console. the console has the potential to make new experiences in gaming that I find may be very enjoyable. the new console is also a very big and glaringly obvious opportunity to make an official SNES and NES emulator and sell games for those older consoles through their online store. if nintendo makes official emulators, I know sales will skyrocket(regardless of there being free unofficial emulators for pc and phones). I honestly believe that if nintendo goes the ios/android route, theyll end up ruining their companies identity and uniqueness.
  • 5 Hide
    dormantreign , January 3, 2013 12:33 AM
    HAHA, move along nothing to read here but some tard who thinks he knows things. Nintendo don't have to do anything, they are fine just the way there are and i hope to god i don't see them sell out like sega, enix ect.....ton of cash LOL. The companys he's talking about are up shi*s creek.
  • 3 Hide
    cbfelterbush , January 3, 2013 12:42 AM
    People can hem and haw over how Nintendo has botched this and that, but at the end of the day they still sell as many consoles as the other three. If not more. They basically invented, established, and perfected the mobile gaming segment with the likes of the GBA-SP. Though I do believe the resolution on the 3DS-XL could be doubled it still out games your i-pod, that makes calls. OR your bigger i-pod, or your slightly smaller but still big i-pod.

    I realize this articles real intent is to suggest that Nintendo should release their software on other mobile platforms. However the Nintendo experience between hardware and software is nearly always great. They could certainly bolster the companies bottom line by releasing a flood of mobile content but how would that effect the long term positioning of the company.

    Many refer to Apple as the most successful company of all time, only because they have been valued higher than anything else, however I submit that having a large bank account and droves of ignorant customers surely does not equate to success. Sustainability counts for quite a bit, And with Apple only able to innovate every ten or so years. We will see which of these companies should emulate the other. Apple did learn something from Nintendo, have Foxconn ODM it, then sell it on the cheap to the whole world. Well Apple didn't pick up the cheap yet.

  • 1 Hide
    TheViper , January 3, 2013 12:44 AM
    Kevin, I'm really wondering if Tom's Hardware hasn't taken up an agenda against Nintendo. If I pull up a list of the most recent Nintendo based articles, they are only negative. I never see Tom's Hardware post any of the positive articles (and yes, they do exists, you smart asses).

    The source article here strikes me as nothing short of useless. It's certainly not news. And anybody with any remote familiarity with the video game industry and the console could debunk the entire article from start to finish in minutes.

    But worse is that Tom's Hardware not only gave this inane article a bigger audience than it should ever receive but that you actually agree with it. You've done your media outlet a disservice to itself by aligning yourselves with such idiocy.

    For shame Tom's, for shame.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 3, 2013 12:53 AM
    not going to happen the gamepad is fine the only mistake I feel nintendo made was gimping the hardware, should have had the console launch at 399$ and put that money to more ram and a more powerful cpu so it would be easier to develop for. Nintendo is the only company I could see still having a console in the future. Steambox or a variant or an Ouya with ps4/720 specs or hpcs will kill sony/microsoft console. I don't know if there will be a PS5 but would bet money that there will be no PS6, Nintendo might still be around. Microsoft could be too getting windows on every TV could be a viable future strategy for staying relevant.
  • 1 Hide
    DirectXtreme , January 3, 2013 1:10 AM
    "But here we are in December 2012" - Um the date is January 3, 2013...
  • -1 Hide
    casualcolors , January 3, 2013 1:18 AM
    FiliprinoInvestors should shut the f**k up and learn some technological related knowledge so their rotten brain stops thinking on idiotic things like that.Nintendo has hardware control, they own the whole chain of their business and it's retarded to make games for other platforms.If they should make software for other platforms would be with the sole objective of getting more people using their devices and network.

    The Wii U marks the first time that Nintendo has had "hardware control" since the N64. Starting less than 1 year after the Gamecube's release, Nintendo's console hardware has been successfully emulated twice during each console's production lifespan. It happened to the Gamecube and then expanded to the original Wii.

    While moving to iOS and Android would certainly tarnish the exclusive image of Nintendo, at this point that's really all that it is; an image. It hasn't been reality for a long time, and suspicions are already arising that the Wii U will be the next console that Nintendo has produced that will be successfully emulated during its early production life cycle.

    I would hate to see Nintendo move to mobile phones, but there is no way to deny the huge potential for profit if they do head in that direction. The only way to deny that would be a gamer's overprotective sense of nostalgia.
  • 4 Hide
    ericburnby , January 3, 2013 1:22 AM
    Nintendo is doing fine? A stock drop from $42 in 2010 to hovering between $13-15 is considered "fine"?
  • -1 Hide
    ericburnby , January 3, 2013 1:23 AM
    FiliprinoNintendo has hardware control, they own the whole chain of their business and it's retarded to make games for other platforms.

    So it's OK for Nintendo to have a "walled garden" (complete control) but when Apple does it it's a bad thing?
  • 3 Hide
    bustapr , January 3, 2013 1:25 AM
    nintendo is a very proud company that wouldnt tarnish their "image" for the sake of profit. also nintendos president has already said that line that goes "over my dead body" when asked in regards to developing for other platforms. I firmly believe nintendo wont stoop down to making ios and android games.
  • 0 Hide
    ddpruitt , January 3, 2013 1:48 AM
    This whole article comes down to a single assumption. Nintendo won't make any money selling hardware. Strange since all they need to do is sell a single game to make money on the system, and everyone who buys one will at least buy one game or another. And if it's anything like the original Wii they will make money on the just the console itself within 18 months. Whereas Sony and Microsoft still lose money one nearly 8 year old consoles. Person who wrote the article hasn't got a clue, if you need any proof just look at this line (something that obviously can't happen):

    I’ll probably end up returning the console after I’m done
  • 1 Hide
    tanjo , January 3, 2013 1:55 AM
    No, Nintendo will not end up like Sega.
  • 2 Hide
    kinggraves , January 3, 2013 1:58 AM
    That's nice. I could state my opinion is that Kevin has an ongoing relationship with sheep on some blog but that doesn't give it any credibility. People have to stop treating opinion pieces online like they actually matter. There are some valid complaints. The battery life on the gamepad is hilariously short, but it still works just as well plugged in. The menu screens lag terribly, probably because it's almost constantly running two screens. The games do not lag like this

    Nintendo has been keeping afloat longer than most of the people trying to speak against them have been alive. MS and Sony may be behemoths of the industry, but both companies are suffering serious blows right now and will do whatever it takes to make their next console a cash cow, even if it means appealing to casual.

    Either way, Nintendo's the one with the innovative idea. In an industry that's quite satisfied with stagnating and going "me too", they're trying something different. People said the same things about the Wii and it rolled to the bank with MS and Sony copying it eventually. Sure, you could perhaps find ways to stream content to a tablet screen like you can with Nintendo's Gamepad, but they make it so -easy- to do. This is a system that anyone, even the techtarded could watch TV while playing a game on. It's what a console should be, sleek and functional. They also have a much better network this time around that can support low priced games like Little Inferno as well as retail games which are also available for download.

    Oh, and companies like Square Enix selling out to the mobile sector? Good luck with that. Square's put out nothing but overpriced remakes and FF branded garbage that people are already wary of buying. They're taking their last sellable franchise and turning it out for the last bit of profit. The fanbase that has kept them going is turning their back more and more. That is NOT the ideal of where someone wants to be going.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , January 3, 2013 2:10 AM
    Nintendo has had one down year in its 120+ year history. I think it's doing ok.

    Nintendo now has a higher market cap than Sony, yet I don't see you reporting on that....
  • 0 Hide
    belardo , January 3, 2013 4:19 AM
    I still don't like doing gaming in which my fingers are covering the screen... its distraction and makes it dirty.
  • -4 Hide
    cobra5000 , January 3, 2013 4:31 AM
    tanjoNo, Nintendo will not end up like Sega.

    I guess you didn't read the article. Sega is doing just fine.
  • 2 Hide
    warmon6 , January 3, 2013 5:06 AM
    cobra5000I guess you didn't read the article. Sega is doing just fine.

    No, you didn't understand what he was saying.

    It wasn't response to how well sega is doing, it a response of the path sega took.

    Aka, he saying "Nintendo will not leave the console hardware market and only make software like sega did".

    As for my opinion, I'm certain that they wont touch it unless everyone switch to phones for gaming... Meaning no one buying consoles anymore from any one.

    As Nintendo history shows, they only changed when there a major shift in Interest and threat of going under. Once being a card company and Now being a game console and game maker, the change only happened when people lost interest in playing cards.

    So for now, I'll take the "I'll see it when I believe it" attitude. I could happen, but i'm doubtful it will be any time soon.

    anonymous616Nintendo has had one down year in its 120+ year history. I think it's doing ok. Nintendo now has a higher market cap than Sony, yet I don't see you reporting on that....

    they've had a few more than one down year, but your right, Nintendo is doing fairly well given how long they been around.
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