Bye bye, mobile emulators! Nintendo will be making games for your smartphone!
The dream has come true: Mario, Link, Samus, and your favorite Nintendo characters are coming to smartphones. Dont misunderstand; this isn’t just going to be a port of Super Mario 64 to the iPhone. Nintendo’s too much of a perfectionist for something like that.
The Japanese company behind the Wii U and 3DS has partnered with DeNA, one of Japan’s top mobile game makers, to create a new way to experience popular franchises like Super Mario, Legend of Zelda, and Metroid. The partnership announcement also sheds light to Nintendo’s long-term plans. For a long time, the brand’s titles can only be played on their consoles. Emulation has become a popular way to play Nintendo’s games for other platforms (like the PC).
Nintendo has been adamant about porting existing games onto the smartphone environment, a move that may be for the company’s benefit, since they already have consoles and systems designed to maximize said existing games. What we may have in the coming years, are a slew of mobile games that take advantage of the smartphone’s touchscreen display, gyroscope, and other hardware/software features to bring a different experience to the table.
This news comes with an assurance to Nintendo console fans, as the company announced that they will be making new hardware in 2016 codenamed ‘NX’. Consoles, after all, are still Nintendo’s main focus. The smartphone experience and partnership with DeNA marks a progressive step for the company, because for all their great innovations in gaming, Nintendo struggled with its online presence. Club Nintendo, the brand’s online membership offering, closed its doors just last year.
DeNA and Nintendo’s customer membership program will run across its smartphone games as well as its console-based games, all the way to the ‘NX’ system and beyond. The partnership should bear nothing but sweet, delicious fruit for both companies, as Nintendo shores up its shortcomings with DeNA, and DeNA getting characters with rich histories and dedicated followers from Nintendo to play with.
At the end of the day, that kid who played Super Mario 3 during summer vacations – that kid in all of us – is happy and excited to experience Nintendo’s cast of characters on yet another screen.