This morning Nintendo announced a partnership with DeNA (pronounced “D-N-A”) to deliver new titles featuring Nintendo characters to “smart devices and bring a new multi-device membership service” to market worldwide.
This is the news that Nintendo fans have been waiting the better part of a decade to hear. As our own Anthony Domanico put it in an editorial back in 2011, “Nintendo could single-handedly revolutionize Android gaming…but they don’t wanna.”
Apparently the sheer size of the smartphone and tablet market has finally overwhelmed whatever concerns Nintendo had about cannibalizing its own hardware sales. It seems shocking that it took them this long to appreciate that position, considering it was back in 2011 that the tide turned and smartphone gaming first overtook the traditional handheld gaming market.
With all that said, it would be foolish to pretend that Nintendo has completely squandered its advantage. As long as this partnership brings compelling games to the table with incredibly popular Nintendo characters, there is little doubt that it will prove tremendously successful.
Nintendo had no announcements regarding titles or availability today, but indicated that the games developed under this partnership will be new titles and not ports of existing 3DS or Wii U games. Hopefully this reflects an acknowledgement of the differences in the platforms and doesn’t mean that we are going to see diminished experiences on smartphones. If we see anything along the lines of Donkey Kong Crush Saga I’m going to be pretty disappointed.
The second piece of news coming out of the announcement today is that Nintendo will be unveiling an online membership service in the fall that will be available on smartphones, PC and Nintendo systems. Details were even more sparse here than on the games coming to smartphones. Whether this is a subscription gaming service or something else entirely remains to be seen.
It has been quite a few years, but are you still excited to see Nintendo games coming to smartphones and which title would you like to see them ship first?